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Newt Gingrich Says Free Speech May Be Forfeit 894

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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  • Irony of venue (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kelson ( 129150 ) * on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @02:39PM (#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.
  • In Soviet America (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jeremiah Cornelius ( 137 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @02:40PM (#17020712) Homepage Journal
    Gingrich re-evaluates you!
  • doesnt get it... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CyberBill ( 526285 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @02:40PM (#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.
  • What's that BS... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by __aaclcg7560 ( 824291 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @02:42PM (#17020776)
    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).
  • What an idiot. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by gt_mattex ( 1016103 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @02:43PM (#17020816)

    The article pretty much speaks for itself.

    Newt Gingrich is a big fat tool. Mod flamebait if you need to.

  • Re:Their America? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by __aaclcg7560 ( 824291 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @02:44PM (#17020840)
    Last I heard he was running for president. He gotta bang that terrorism fear drum for the next two years and the American people are proven suckers for reduced liberty for false security.
  • That's outrageous (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @02:45PM (#17020846)
    We can't curtail civil liberties in the name of the War on Terrorism anymore! Now we curtail civil liberties in the name of the War on Illegal Immigration!
  • All righty then (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Billosaur ( 927319 ) * <wgrother@oEINSTE ... minus physicist> on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @02:45PM (#17020850) Journal

    Perhaps Mr. Gingrich will be the first to volunteer to have his right to freedom of speech revoked.

  • Re:Irony of venue (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jandrese ( 485 ) <> on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @02:45PM (#17020852) Homepage Journal
    In short: I will defend to the death the right of Mr. Gringich to make a total ass out of himself, even when he's going directly against my cause. That is the beauty of Free Speech.

    Free speech is also about allowing me to tell Mr. Gringich to go fuck himself.
  • by bucktug ( 306690 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @02:45PM (#17020856)
    I thought the entire idea of terrorism was to garner the attention that you receive to allow others to see your ideas or distrupt the status quo enough where they would have to change. Typically this would come from a group that has no inroads to get their message across in the current system. So... Let us limit speech and further disenfranchise folks that will create more limited means of getting a groups message out and thus creating more terrorists.
  • by dcw3 ( 649211 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @02:45PM (#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.
  • Re:Their America? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SatanicPuppy ( 611928 ) * <> on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @02:47PM (#17020920) Journal
    Newt's not elected to anything, though he is talking about a 2008 presidential run.

    The only possible reason to want to curtail freedom of speech is to maintain a tighter control on a domestic population, which falls right in line with the current Republican agenda, so it's no surprise that that's what he wants, but I'm surprised even he would come right out and say it.

    Anyone who is incapable of understanding why Freedom of Speech is essential to a democracy has no business being anywhere near government. That people don't rise up and tear him apart explains, in a nutshell, why, historically, democracies don't last.
  • by gumbright ( 574609 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @02:48PM (#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?
  • Re:Help? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <> on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @02:49PM (#17020954) Homepage Journal
    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.
  • by nine-times ( 778537 ) <> on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @02:52PM (#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.

  • by Medievalist ( 16032 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @02:52PM (#17021040)
    It's about muzzling people like you. People who say things the rulers don't like. People who might have a conscience.

    Networking technology is just the latest excuse. And the "Red Scare" wore out so now the enemies of freedom hype "the War on Terror".
  • FUD (Score:5, Insightful)

    by maelstrom ( 638 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @02:52PM (#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.
  • Re:Their America? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Total_Wimp ( 564548 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @02:53PM (#17021076)
    Why do we let them be in charge?

    Terrorism is bad. It really is. It does not follow that it is so bad that we need to re-examin our fundemental rights.

    Far more people die at the hands of run-of-the-mill criminals, in automobile accidents, of heart disease, and of AIDS. The number of Americans who were killed by terrorists last year was laughably small (Even our president calls those guys in Iraq insurgents and not terrorists, just in case you wanted to lump them in).

    So why give up free speech? Privacy? Protection against unreasonable search and seisure? To stop the "scourge" of terrorism that didn't bomb a single target you can actually name last year?

    These guys want power over you. They want to arrest you for mere suspision, they want to detain you for disagreeing, they want to hold you as long as they want without a trial, and they want to beat the confesion out of you when time alone doesn't make you change your tune. Then they want ot take the false info you gave them and proclaim "Look! We stopped this terrorist!"

    Don't give it to them. Don't give them your rights. Anyone who says you need to make that kind of sacrifice, he's the one you want to kick out of office.

  • by 1000101 ( 584896 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @02:56PM (#17021146)
    Two quotes from the article...
    • "different set of rules"...the rest paraphrased by the author
    • "We need to get ahead of the curve before we actually lose a city, which I think could happen in the next decade"

    ...and already people are bashing the guy. I don't see how anyone can come to any conclusions based on these two quotes. The rest of the story should have some Gingrich bashers really confused:
    "Gingrich said America has "failed" in Iraq over the past three years and urged a new approach to winning the conflict. The U.S. needs to engage Syria and Iran and increase investment to train the Iraqi army and a national police force, he said. "How does a defeat for America make us safer?" Gingrich said. "I would look at an entirely new strategy." He added: "We have clearly failed in the last three years to achieve the kind of outcome we want."

    You might not be a Republican, and you might not agree with everything he has to say, but he is an extrememly intelligent man (Ph.D Tulane) and it might behoove you to read the entire speech transcript before getting so worked up.

  • Re:Irony of venue (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Kelson ( 129150 ) * on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @02:56PM (#17021148) Homepage Journal
    Free speech is also about allowing me to tell Mr. Gringich to go fuck himself.

    Hey, if the Vice President can say it to a sitting senator...

  • by khasim ( 1285 ) <> on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @02:59PM (#17021188)
    There's always some "threat" that requires that we give up some Freedoms ... just until the threat is over ... so the government can "protect" us.

    Freedom is not safe.

    Our forefathers felt that it was better to die Free than to live under tyranny.

    I'll take their opinions over Newt's any day.
  • Re:Their America? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by timeOday ( 582209 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @03:03PM (#17021300)
    Not only is Gingrich not in power, but we don't even know what he said. I'm not going to get all worked up about a few quotes or misquotes in a speech by a nobody.

    That said, the larger issue is important. Just last night NBC ran a story [] about nuclear plant and security information being available in public libraries. My first reaction was that I generally favor public access to information, and that private watchdogs and the free press are probably why the US has not had a Chernobyl. The idea of purging public libraries is distasteful. But then they talked about what information was available, and I had to agree some of it should not be public, such as specifically the most damaging place to hit a nuclear power plant with an airplane. It is old information, and that sort of information would probably never be released now. Is that a good or bad thing?

  • by VidEdit ( 703021 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @03:05PM (#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 Zontar_Thing_From_Ve ( 949321 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @03:06PM (#17021360)
    I read the article. Did you? Obviously not. Nowhere in it did Gringrich say exactly how or what he would suggest changing with regards to free speech. Yet that's enough to send the /. pundits through the roof. Perhaps in the future it might be helpful to know exactly what you are getting upset about before losing your mind.

    By the way morons, he hasn't served in Congress since 1998, so it's not like he is running the show any more.
  • by niola ( 74324 ) <> on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @03:07PM (#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.
  • by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF ( 813746 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @03:10PM (#17021426)

    And many of those that "get it" don't get it. You can no longer reshape the government with FORCE by bearing arms. Their guns are much bigger than our guns.

    I think maybe you don't get it. Small arms are effective for a civil war. It's not like the government can nuke cities within its own borders without creating even more rebels elsewhere. Also, in most civil conflicts a significant portion of the military sides with each faction. So the guns they have are also the guns we have, in some proportion.

    Even to put this in terms of simple numbers, if the entire military had chips installed so they always followed orders and half the able men 18-30 not in the military rose up and lost at a rate of 100 people to kill one brainwashed soldier, there would still be some left over in addition to the rest of the populace.

  • by lawpoop ( 604919 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @03:10PM (#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 Pojut ( 1027544 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @03:15PM (#17021534) Homepage
    Summary of Modern Politics:

    "I'll show you politics in America. Here it is, right here. 'I think the puppet on the right shares my beliefs.' 'I think the puppet on the left is more to my liking.' 'Hey, wait a minute, there's one guy holding out both puppets!'"

    ---Bill Hicks
  • Re:Their America? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TubeSteak ( 669689 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @03:15PM (#17021544) Journal
    Speaking of "right in line with the current Republican agenda"
    Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich yesterday said the country will be forced to reexamine freedom of speech to meet the threat of terrorism.
    Gingrich sharply criticized campaign finance laws he charged were reducing free speech and doing little to fight attack advertising. He also said court rulings over separation of church and state have hurt citizens' ability to express themselves and their faith.
    So, free speech for Corporations & Christians is good, but free speech for Muslims is bad.
  • by ScentCone ( 795499 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @03:17PM (#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 PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @03:17PM (#17021594) Journal
    The intellectual laziness of current conventional political thinkers really galls me. One thing that all of the Founding Fathers agreed on is that a free society presents some difficulties and challenges, but that it's well worth the extra effort freedom requires.

    It may be that to maintain our liberty we will be more vulnerable to terrorist attack. Well, that's a price of freedom, but one that with a sensible and progressive foreign policy we can attenuate.

    All of the Founding Fathers knew that a free society is inconvenient for our leaders. It makes it a little harder to govern a nation that is free to say and do what they want as long as it doesn't step on the toes of others. It's one of the reasons Jefferson, Washington and others maintained that we've got to keep religion out of the government, because religion proposes easy answers, shortcuts if you will, to get people to behave a certain way.

    But the Great Men of the Enlightenment knew that the price of being unwilling to do the hard work of Liberty is darkness for all mankind.

    There was a time that America's willingness to work at staying free was a beacon to the world. It provided encouragement to young men and women who lived in Totalitarian societies and kept a flame of hope alive for those who suffered under tyrants. The desire of lazy leaders to skip over the inconveniencies of things like warrants, habeas corpus and free speech, along with the notion that the natural resources of the world are ours to command, have turned us into the object of hatred instead of the hope of the world, which is the natural place of a free people.
  • Re:Their America? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jmorris42 ( 1458 ) * <> on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @03:23PM (#17021748)
    > Newt's not elected to anything, though he is talking about a 2008 presidential run.

    Which is what this attack piece is all about, a preemptive strike to make Newt radioactive again and prevent him tossing his hat into the ring. I'm sure within a day the full text will appear and make a lot more sense. I'm also certain it won't receive a tenth the exposure this hit job gets.

    Newt isn't some Bob (Klansman) Byrd fossil who doesn't understand what the net is.
  • by drDugan ( 219551 ) * on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @03:23PM (#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.

  • Re:Quotes (Score:3, Insightful)

    by BCW2 ( 168187 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @03:24PM (#17021768) Journal
    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 coaxial ( 28297 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @03:24PM (#17021772) Homepage
    What makes you think they don't get it? Really. Have you read their writings? This has always been what they wanted. A power grab.

    They're crypto-facists. Plain and simple.
  • Re:Thank God (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Ingolfke ( 515826 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @03:28PM (#17021860) Journal
    Thank God you have no real power. It's scary when someone in power has an opinion bout a speech that they know nothing about.
  • by permawired ( 906877 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @03:28PM (#17021882)
    Freedom is not safe

    nor is Freedom free for that matter, it must be fought for constantly and vigilantly lest we lose it....

  • by Reziac ( 43301 ) * on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @03:29PM (#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:FUD (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Archangel Michael ( 180766 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @03:30PM (#17021928) Journal
    "I don't see any evidence to suggest that his message is anything other than what's in TFA"

    Right. That's because there is no transcript of the speech to refer to, so all your evidence is the article, there is no other "evidence" you've seen other than the article. So, basically you are trusting the news source (NBC blowing up cars, Washington Post reporting fictional events etc), at the expense of actually doing the research or waiting till the transcript comes out.

    You obviously have more faith in "unbiased" reporters than I do, as I can clearly prove that there is no such thing as "unbiased" news. Everyone has an agenda (including me).

    So, I am completely reserving judgment on this one until further review. I wasn't there, so I don't know, and I sure the hell don't believe one article on some website as "proof" that He said or didn't say anything.

    I wonder though, if it is proven that he never said any such thing, if those that are lambasting him today will change their opinion of him or just chalk it up to the Dan Rather school of forged documents by saying "while the article was false, I believe that it portrayed Newt correctly"
  • Re:Message of FEAR (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mpapet ( 761907 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @03:32PM (#17021970) Homepage
    How on Dog's Blue/Green Earth did this get modded Insightful?

    We need to get ahead of the curve before we actually lose a city, which I think could happen in the next decade

    That is Grade A Fearmongering.

    Lose a city? Really? How would that supposed threat be worse now as opposed to 10 years ago? Same boogeymen were around 10 years ago, same tools were available. Why is it urgent now?

    The systematic abuse of this tactic over the last 6+ years to centralize power and isolate/marginalize any meaningful discussion or disagreement should be a felony crime.

    It is the equivalent of yelling "Fire!" in a crowded room. A non-credible statement designed and distributed to keep the citizens in a state of fear and heightened paranoia.

    Please, consider the fearmongering more objectively.
  • by Marxist Hacker 42 ( 638312 ) * <> on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @03:38PM (#17022128) Homepage Journal
    The answer is to use our freedom to BECOME barbaric bastards that kill innocent people. What nobody seems to understand is that we're getting side attacks from what is basically a theological civil war of reformation- from a religion that espouses "kill the infidel". It's a war of genocide already- just ask the black tribes in Sudan and Chad- of "kill all the unbelievers". The only question is who will be successfull in the genocide first- some sect of less than 100,000 people using machine guns or suicide bombers, or a country of 300 million people using nukes.
  • Re:Their America? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Reziac ( 43301 ) * on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @03:38PM (#17022132) Homepage Journal
    You don't need public information to determine the most damaging place to hit a nuclear power plant (or a bridge, or a highrise) with an airplane. All you need is a structural engineer, which neither the U.S. nor the nuclear power (nor general construction industries) hold a monopoly on. You don't even need blueprints, given that design doesn't change that much from one nuclear power plant (bridge, highrise) to the next. Just make a good guess based on knowledge any 2nd year engineering student has, and have at it.

    And given the political situation in the U.S. today, a near-miss is as good as a direct hit -- because you'd get the same reaction: "Ahh! Ahhhh! the sky is falling!!"

    Bah. Chicken Little was right. :(

  • Re:Their America? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @03:48PM (#17022320)
    In innumerable battles, soldiers of the United States of America went forth with a high degree of certainty that they would die. But they went forward in the belief that they would protect our liberties.

    Yet today, with the incredibly remote threat that we might be harmed, we gladly offer these same liberties up for sacrifice at the altar.

  • by johnpaul191 ( 240105 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @03:50PM (#17022370) Homepage
    I'm inclined to disagree with Newt on this and at the same time I want to do everything possible to get the barbaric bastards who keep killing innocent people. It's tough and it's only going to get tougher. The world is about to get really scary, I'm afraid.
    seriously... the world has always been very scary. today we have information overload. not to downplay the event, but imagine if something akin to 9-11 happened 25 years ago. if you lived on the west coast, or elsewhere in the world, odds are slim that you would have seen anything like the coverage that was available live. real information would have been given on the evening news and later in newspapers. as is the live feeds were more images than actual information of the causes.
    there have always been bad things going on around the world and inside the USA. there always will be. i'm not saying people should give up trying to stop mass murder and terrorism, but crime and murder will never be 100% eliminated. it's just not possible.

    the government can not say "look how effective our secret methods are because we have not had a terrorist attack since 9-11" and then follow it up with "we can not let people speak freely or bad things may occur". i could also say that eating a fair amount of garlic seems to keep terrorism from happening within a few miles of my location. it hasn't failed yet.
  • by Zork the Almighty ( 599344 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @03:50PM (#17022372) Journal
    The world is no scarier than it ever was, if anything it's less scary. Look at this list of causes of death []. Nowhere on there do I see rampaging hordes of terrorists. Most deaths are due to genetic predispositions to disease or stupidity. In previous centuries you might have seen "executions by a mad king" or "crushed to death while building a pyramid". In foreign countries today, "starvation" or "collateral damage" would be high on the list. Americans are some of the safest people in history.

    Consider that during the cold war, your enemy had nuclear weapons and threatened to use them! More than once! Consider that during the second world war western democracies were under attack, not by some rogue bands of extremists, but by large industrial states with real armies and the resources to potentially conquer the world. The entire world could fall under a fascist regime. Now that's a threat!

    Of course, during all of this people talked about curtailing freedom of speech, and they actually rounded up a bunch of Japanese americans and put them in camps. Most people (paradoxically) think this was wrong, but what the US government is doing with Guantanemo is far worse. They have already passed a law that will allow the president to throw people into a black hole with no judicial process or review. And those people can be tortured, because the president and the military get to decide what torture is. This is far worse than anything America has done going back to Lincoln, who suspended habeas corpus (it has since been eliminated!) when the confederate army was at his doorstep. Lincoln may have been justified, but Bush is not. There is nowhere near the threat to the United States today. If anything, the biggest threat is the United States government itself, and the people who are so disinterested in politics that they have allowed a tyrant to rule them.
  • by Lally Singh ( 3427 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @03:56PM (#17022538) Journal
    Yeah those evangelicals are a scary group... wait, who were you talking about?
  • Re:Message of FEAR (Score:5, Insightful)

    by isaac ( 2852 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @03:58PM (#17022580)
    We need to get ahead of the curve before we actually lose a city, which I think could happen in the next decade.

    That is Grade A Fearmongering.

    Lose a city? Really? How would that supposed threat be worse now as opposed to 10 years ago? Same boogeymen were around 10 years ago, same tools were available. Why is it urgent now?

    More to the point, we already lost a city this decade - New Orleans. It wasn't lost to some surprise terrorist attack noone foresaw, either. Talk about being behind the curve.

  • by Vitriol+Angst ( 458300 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @04:01PM (#17022632)
    Since when is Newt and his fascist, crooked friends "America?"

    Every time we talk about Corrupt leaders, THEY talk about "hate speach" and terrorist propaganda.

    This from a group, that didn't conduct an investigation into actual suspects and money trails... and has yet to make a credible arrest. So where is the "protection?"

    The Democrats had to force them to start taking port security seriously... and then the Republicans went ahead and sold the ports to Dubai when nobody was looking. Remember Dubai of the UAE? BCCI? How is allowing our port security to be run by the same government that launders terrorist money "sercurity".

    It seems that when Newt is saying "terrorist recruiting" what he means is "NeoCon Opposition speech." All the "sky is falling" chicken littles fail to realize that the widespread NSA wiretaps started BEFORE 9/11 ... and yet how much security did they provide?

    So while Grandma gets swiped and probed for bombs, we have little port security, where we have millions of tons of cargo that could contain something a lot bigger than a shoe bomb arrives every day.

    Oh, and this same group, which is riddled with War Profiteers, Incompetent Chicken-Hawk war mongers, and people of questionable loyalty (just look at how many get money from foreign nationals or are compromised by NeoCons who know who they've slept with), also sold 7 military industrial plants to Dubai. So you now have the UAE making weapons on our soil, with some of our technology.

    Does that make you feel safe? Or are we going to scan every web page for suspect comments -- just incase it has some info from Bin Laden. Look, if I were interested in doing something wrong, and sending a message to someone else, I could send them a picture with the data encoded, and only they would have the origina picture without the data. It's a simple technique but impossible to thwart. So -- the only possilbe use for controlling the internet to get "bad guys" is to control the internet. The only possible use for a database of all my purchases, is to have a database of all my purchases to sell to PR agencies, marketing companies, and election promoters -- because Al Qaeda is going to use cash.

    No, Newt is just a corporate shill. And America attacked two countries for oil and genocide, who had nothing to do with 9/11. Please note, that none of the hijackers were from either country. There are no credible NeoCon leaders, and they have never shown any ability other than to get elected and steal our tax dollars for private gain.
  • by Marxist Hacker 42 ( 638312 ) * <> on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @04:02PM (#17022648) Homepage Journal
    Surely you're not so naive as to think the USA isn't responsible for killing hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians (and probably millions in fact) over the last 40 years of fucked-up foreign policy while funding dictators, revolutionaries, drug lords, and private armies?

    Yeah, but that's not nearly genocidal enough. Genocidal would be instead of funding dictators and revolutionaries and drug lords and private armies, simply nuking any country that gets in our way. That's the level of evil we need to aspire to if we're ever going to impress Bedouin Arabs to do our bidding.
  • Re:Their America? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Marillion ( 33728 ) <> on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @04:03PM (#17022674)
    Why do we let them be in charge?

    Because they know how to manipulate "the people." The recipe is hundreds of years old. Nazi war criminal Hermann Göring summed it up very nicely.

    From Snopes, []

    "Of course the people don't want war. But after all, it's the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it's always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it's a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger."
    -- Herman Göring at the Nuremberg trials

    Let's recap: 1) We're under attack by Terrorists. 2) America hating Cut-and-Run Democrats will harm the nation. It's the same chapter from the same playbook the Nazi's used.

  • by psykocrime ( 61037 ) <{ku.oc.rekcahppc} {ta} {emircdnim}> on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @04:03PM (#17022684) Homepage Journal
    The world is about to get really scary, I'm afraid.

    How so? What's different... 1000 years ago we were born, lived a while, then died. Today we're born, live a while, then die.

    The only thing I find scary is the morons trying to take away my freedom to live my life as I see fit, in the name
    of protecting me.
  • by Broken scope ( 973885 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @04:04PM (#17022698) Homepage
    Scarier? We didn't live in a non-scary world pre 9/11. The world was fucked up then. 9/11 didn't make the world scarier. It brought the scary shit to our doorstep forcing us to notice it for the first time in the average persons shielded fucking life.
  • Re:Their America? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by danpsmith ( 922127 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @04:08PM (#17022776)
    The idea of purging public libraries is distasteful. But then they talked about what information was available, and I had to agree some of it should not be public, such as specifically the most damaging place to hit a nuclear power plant with an airplane. It is old information, and that sort of information would probably never be released now. Is that a good or bad thing?

    Stick with your instinct. I very highly doubt that the terrorists are even looking through our libraries for this type of knowledge, because it is so widely and vastly known at this point. The point you start purging libraries and telling people what they can and can't say due to what terrorists could possibly learn is the moment you begin sliding down the hill toward complete information control. Controlling speech does not make us safer, as we don't have a monopoly on information. The same type of information would be available at large from other sources.

    People pretend as if the terrorists are using our own information against us, or as if they are very sophisticated and rely upon things they'd like to restrict. The truth is that the terrorists took out 3,000 people with a few pilot lessons and a couple boxcutters, and their bombs mostly consist of garbage bin fertilizer recipes. The key to stopping these people isn't in clamping down on information that they probably won't even use to stop their largely unsophisticated (at least in technological terms) attacks. One of the keys to winning the war on terror is to stop being so afraid.

  • by snowwrestler ( 896305 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @04:11PM (#17022828)
    It may be that to maintain our liberty we will be more vulnerable to terrorist attack.

    Or we may be less vulnerable. While it's true that free speech (and freedom of association, a separate but related right) may allow "the terrorists" to organize and recruit, it also allows their enemies (us, free Americans) to organize and recruit as well. One of the great national strengths that freedom of speech conveys is the power of many. Like open source software development, the power of many means that the more people who can observe and think about a problem, the more likely it is for the most effective solution to arise.

    Freedom of speech means that there is greater opportunity for errors in methodology to be found, for problems to be reported, and for more diverse innovation in problem solving. What Newt is proposing does not lead to better solutions, it leads to better concentration of power in the hands of a small number of solution-creators. I prefer an America where journalists, bloggers, or anyone at all can stand up and say "Hey! We're going about this all wrong!" or "Hey, you forgot this important thing: __________" or "Hey! This guy (agency, etc) is not doing his job well!"

    It's a competitive marketplace of ideas and I think Americans can compete just fine with our enemies--if we allow ourselves to.
  • by Marxist Hacker 42 ( 638312 ) * <> on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @04:17PM (#17022972) Homepage Journal
    Except that is not the reason they want to kill us. Sure, they throw around theological drivel for recruitment. But their main stated reason is our troops are in their part of the world and they don't like it.

    But what you don't seem to understand is that such Islamic sects are decentralized. The novel theological invention of the mujahdeen was the concept of individual jihad- that it doesn't take a country to declare a holy war. Because of that, the "stated reason" of their leadership is just so much talk (much like any other politician); the real motivation is the theological drivel used for recruitment- because what counts in the end is what motivates the suicide bomber, not the preacher.

    A good sign of this is the transferance from complaining about our troops on the Holy Peninsula (those military bases were abandoned when we invaded Iraq, and in fact Saddam Hussien was the only purpose for them being there to begin with) to complaining about Israel. They've changed their "stated reason" almost as often as Bush has changed his reason for invading Iraq- because the theology is their real purpose, just as control of the oil is Bush's real purpose.
  • But they're not. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Kadin2048 ( 468275 ) <slashdot,kadin&xoxy,net> on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @04:19PM (#17023018) Homepage Journal
    Actually I think the Constitution was quite clear that just because they failed to enumerate something, doesn't mean that the government should feel free to regulate it into oblivion.

    In fact, in the Federalist Papers (no. 84, if you're counting) Alexander Hamilton described the very road you're going down as one of the reasons why a country shouldn't have a Bill of Rights:
    I go further, and affirm that bills of rights, in the sense and in the extent in which they are contended for, are not only unnecessary in the proposed constitution, but would even be dangerous. They would contain various exceptions to powers which are not granted; and on this very account, would afford a colorable pretext to claim more than were granted. For why declare that things shall not be done which there is no power to do? Why for instance, should it be said, that the liberty of the press shall not be restrained, when no power is given by which restrictions may be imposed? I will not contend that such a provision would confer a regulating power; but it is evident that it would furnish, to men disposed to usurp, a plausible pretense for claiming that power.
    Unfortunately, I think time has shown that the founders greatly overestimated both the leadership and citizenry that would come after him; "men disposed to usurp" have indeed usurped practically every right not specifically enumerated in the Constitution, just as Hamilton feared.

    This is not how things are supposed to work. The founders of our country lived in a time that was rife with invention and development; they certainly did not mean for only certain bits and pieces of speech to be protected. To say that books are protected under the First Amendment today, but not the Internet, would be as ridiculous as saying in 1788 that only handwriting was protected, but words printed using movable type were not. Either way is quite obviously the same content and due the same protection.
  • by cowscows ( 103644 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @04:21PM (#17023042) Journal
    Obviously, I can't predict the circumstances which would cause a mass armed revolt against the government in the US, but it'd probably have to be a really big deal to get a big portion of the population to that point. There would have to be some horrendous and really obvious things going down. Were that the case, I have a hard time believing that much of the armed forces would side with the government that's under-seige. We have an all volunteer army, with a lot of diversity among the soldiers. Basically, anything that's going to disgust the general population enough to spurn a revolution would likely affect the soldiers similarly.

    Compare this to many countries where military service is one of the easier ways to lead a more privileged life. An extreme example would be somewhere like north korea, where much of the country is below subsistance level, while the military is comparatively very well funded. There a soldier would not only be fighting to defend their political leaders, but also to protect their own position.

    If a million people started to converge on Washington DC to oust the president (any president), I don't think the air force would start dropping bombs on them.
  • by rifter ( 147452 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @04:30PM (#17023210) Homepage

    I'm inclined to disagree with Newt on this and at the same time I want to do everything possible to get the barbaric bastards who keep killing innocent people. It's tough and it's only going to get tougher. The world is about to get really scary, I'm afraid.

    Of course we want to stop the barbarians from taking over. After all even though Tacitus' "let them hate us so long as they fear us" has a terrifying echo in today's politics, but then look what happened to Rome in its quest to stop the barbari and what happened to the world when the barbarians won. Neither prospect is something we want for our future.

    Personally I see a direct correlation in the methods used to deal with extreme violent racist groups in the US (like the Klan, the American Nazis, etc and their descendants)and the means to destroy Al Qaeda and their ilk without destroying the very thing we are fighting for. Even Bush claims that Al Qaeda hates freedom and that our freedom needs to be defended, and to a certain extent he is correct on that although he's clearly not properly defending freedom. If we lose our freedom, our openness, our ability to accept and assimilate immigrants, we will cease to be the country that we once were, and never become what we were meant to be. If we are no longer America we are no longer on the right side of the struggle. If we are no longer America the terrorists win because their goal in this war is to destroy what we are and replace it with an autocracy, preferably a theocracy, and to manipulate us with their terrorist acts.

    In this country there are a lot of groups preaching hate and violence, just like Al Qaeda. They even advocate violent overthrow of the government, which is often the limit set for acts of expression becoming criminal acts. In many other countries, Germany for instance, the mere presence of these groups and what they say would be illegal. But in our country it is different. Our country was founded on Enlightenment philosophy, like the famous saying of Voltaire's* "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." This means that some people will express things that are distasteful to us, even evil in our eyes, but the fact they think these things is not itself a crime although some acts they might commit in the context of such beliefs definitely are.

    In any case, we have found with other groups that it actually serves society's interest to allow these groups to freely express their opinions. There is the philosophical and educational benefit that these viewpoints are then out in the open and therefore can be openly rebutted, and that perhaps those individuals might change their minds with the right kind of rebuttal (whereas if they hid their ignorance and their "shameful" beliefs no one would be able to show them why they are wrong). But more than that, from a law enforcement standpoint if people say what they believe then we know who they are and can watch what they do. When people believe in violence and say so they may be more closely observed so the actual acts of violence might be thwarted. Their groups can be infiltrated more easily when they are more open about what they do, and this is how we reduced significantly the impact of our own homegrown terrorists.

    I hate to resort to analogues from movies, but there is a scene in the original "Planet of the Apes" where a kind of reversal of the above takes place. The "subversive" chimpanzees are espousing "heretical" views and Dr. Zaius says "let them talk" in response to the members of the council that want to force the chimpanzees to be silent. In that case there was no freedom of speech but even then the benefit of allowing people who you want to quash to speak was recognized, if only from the standpoint of giving them enough rope to hang themselves. In our case the only heresy we should legitimately wish to quash is that of intolerance and violence. Even so by allowing these groups to speak freely everyone gets to know who they are and

  • Re:Their America? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SatanicPuppy ( 611928 ) * <> on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @04:33PM (#17023266) Journal
    NO, I do not think that Democrats are all about free speech.

    Every time you try to reduce this to an us and them philosophy (and I did it too, I apologize) they gleefully screw us while we're fighting each other.

    And for the record, though I'm left leaning, Hillary makes me hurl. It's a given that 2008 is going to be a festival of bad choices.
  • by Waffle Iron ( 339739 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @04:37PM (#17023320)
    Tell that to the Iraqi's

    You're ignoring the fact that the political environment surrounding the Iraq fiasco is completely different from that which would surround a hypothetical future revolution against a totalitarian government in the USA.

    The US could achieve a complete victory in Iraq a matter of months by employing brutal ethnic cleansing tactics. This was demonstrated many times by various tyrants in the 20th century, and in fact it is how Saddam kept a lid on Iraq's internal problems. However, for obvious reasons, we can't use that approach. Since Iraq is primarily a TV reality show broadcast on cable news networks and not a real war, we're bound to "lose" no matter which weapons each side has.

    A government presiding over hypothetical US uprising would almost certainly not have any of the political constraints that apply to Iraq. There would be no independent TV coverage allowed. Government forces would be free to use any and all weapons and tactics unrestrained by outside oversight. In that scenario, a bunch of dorks running around in the woods with hunting rifles and homemade weapons wouldn't stand a chance. The most they'd be likely to achieve would be to get their families shipped off to a gulag after the government runs a DNA match on their remains.

  • Re:Newt (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DM9290 ( 797337 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @04:40PM (#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 frank_adrian314159 ( 469671 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @04:40PM (#17023398) Homepage
    Of all the things that the ACLU stands for, this is one I have NEVER seen them stand for.

    The ACLU makes it clear that there are other rights organizations narrowly focused on Amendment 2. As such, they have no particular reason to re-cover that particular base. Realistically, they started out as an Amendment 1 focused organization branched out to Amendments 14 and 15 (when it was fairly clear that, in certain areas of the country, Amendment 1 rights were being denied on the basis of race) and have branched out to other (mainly due process) amendments because most of the abuses WRT the other Amendments tend to have a chilling effect on the First. I don't think they've ever said they were there to cover the entire Bill of Rights. Criticizing them for not doing so is as silly as criticizing the NRA for not defending Amendment 3.

  • by argStyopa ( 232550 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @04:44PM (#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 Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @04:49PM (#17023530)
    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.

    I don't know how you come to think you could take down the US government with force. You may think your rifle is pretty kick ass, but if you took on the US army you might find yourself slightly overpowered [].

  • by Reziac ( 43301 ) * on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @04:56PM (#17023696) Homepage Journal
    I've figured out the Politician translation, which since all 10 Rights read the same way, I'll abbreviate to just one:

    1) Touch this right, and we won't give you any money.

    There, that oughta get it through their thick skulls! :)

  • by scheming daemons ( 101928 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @04:57PM (#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/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?

  • Re:Their America? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Vitriol+Angst ( 458300 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @05:04PM (#17023848)
    Republicans who don't believe in the value of oversight, good government, and social supports have done a great job illustrating what NO GOVERNMENT looks like.

    Look at the Katrina disaster; FEMA outsourced all their equipment to the former head of FEMA... which is no big deal, since they didn't seem to think FEMA was much more than a check machine for Florida hurricanes. So the fat government deal given to the former head of FEMA, get's outsourced to other companies... because he doesn't do the work, just gets the profits. Unfortuneatly, this great experiment in "outsourced" government, went awry when an actual disaster occured. No buses were available. We all know about the smoke-screen cover arguing about how New Orleans was too corrupt or lazy to save themselves -- but the actual fact was that buses were planned and ordered but never arrived.

    What was FEMA thinking, when they stopped 400 fanboat rescue volunteers from Florida? Either it was CYA or there was an interest in getting rid of troublesome New Orleans squatters... but if you assume that it was merely incompetence, we come to the other failure in government; Jobs. Haliburton was contracted, in a no bid deal, to fix up a lot of homes. They've outsourced that job to "guest workers" from Mexico while still retaining huge sums to do the work. So, in order to save Americans from the burdens of Socialist projects that use citizens for public works, we spend more to get less, and keep more citizens too impoverished to better themselves.

    I'm sick of the mentality that accepts 100% corporate control or it's Communism. Our drug companies make huge profits on drugs our government subsidized to research... but above on beyond the argument that "profits=progress" why is it every woman in this country must spend about $35 a month for birth control? Wouldn't it make sense, that the government research this basic need, and provide it for free or perhaps a $1 month? Where did the Public Good, change to "someone needs to profit?" There is no inherent right to profit or even existence for corporations -- yet that's how our government now acts.

    They spent $13 Billion subsidizing big oil, which has made record profits. $13 Billion could provide a lot of school lunches and books, or healthcare for every kid in this country. $13 Billion is apparently, chicken feed, when we urgently need it for 6 weeks of the Iraq war... but too much when actually helping Americans who didn't "work" for it.

    Well that's crap -- what people earn or "work for" is an arbitrary value. One Oil CEO getting a Billion $ a year, or a minimum wage worker making $12,000 a year is an arbitrary value. It's just a lot of corporate-BS in people's heads that has them convinced that somehow these values reflect any true value of the person working. IF so, then CEO's would get paid less, or perhaps outsourced to INDIA. I'm sure I could lose GE money for a lot less than their current CEO -- I could perhaps even make them a profit.

    If we allow everything to be driven by what corporations want, then no bar will go too low. As soon as Burger King hires "guest workers", McDonalds will have to fire their workers and do the same.

    So Newt shutting down the government, would have had greater effects the longer it lasted. And we've seen how important Congressional oversight can be -- with the lack of it these last 6 years and a total failure in government.

    We have an EPA that protect polluters. While the level of Mercury in pregnant women has doubled.

    We have an FDA that protects bad drugs on behalf of drug companies.

    Our government has been stood on its head... and the repercussions of that are just beginning to be felt. We will have a generation of poorly educated test-takers, who have developed asthma, diabetes and Autism in epidemic numbers. Eating all manner of modified foods, breathing adulterated air in some grand experiment. The solution will not be for everyone to be an expert in health, and to test their own foods, and teach their own kids -- this is
  • by RAMMS+EIN ( 578166 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @05:05PM (#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 NMerriam ( 15122 ) <> on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @05:08PM (#17023922) Homepage
    the second amendment preserves the right to bear arms explicitly for the defense of the state - not for the overthrow of the government.

    The defense of the state was against the federal government. Or did you somehow miss the historical context where the states had just staged a revolution? Nobody was worried about the right to hunt, or about the possibility of the Spanish suddenly invading New York. They were worried about a federal government overstepping its bounds. Obviously since the Civil War, the legal questions have gotten only murkier, but don't try to rewrite history to imply these revolutionaries who extensively documented their motivations were not thinking of the possibility that the new federal government would have to be overthrown.
  • by Marxist Hacker 42 ( 638312 ) * <> on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @05:12PM (#17024002) Homepage Journal
    You're half right. Guess which half? The one whose book commands to kill, or the one whose book commands to love?

    Both books command killing infidels- just read Exodus and Deuteronomy and ask what happened to the People of Ai if you're a Christian or a Jew. If you're Islamic, ask what REALLY happened to the pagans of Mecca when the Prophet conquored it.

    Heck, I can't think of a single book of scripture that doesn't command us to kill those who aren't part of our tribe- even the Bagavad Gita (a Veda from Hari Krishna Hinduism) commands this. It's a basic part of the whole orthodoxy mindset.

    Only the Qur'an says that "religion" is a good thing.

    Every scripture in the world considers religion to be a good thing. And it is. Religion is civilization itself- the ability to build a homogenous community that believes in a single set of morals is very basic to the creation of a city. But all religions go through genocidal periods. Some more than others. What makes this form of Islam different is the concept of individual jihad- it's damn hard to control an army where every private thinks he's a prophet.
  • by trianglman ( 1024223 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @05:12PM (#17024004) Journal
    Actually, the first time a US president stood up, the Republican controlled Congress chastised him. The second time a president stood up the world supported us, until said president derailed the campaign for a personal vendetta.
  • by Skreems ( 598317 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @05:36PM (#17024440) Homepage
    I'd be more worried about the fascism that's springing up at home as a reaction to the "overseas threat"...
  • by dwayner79 ( 880742 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @05:38PM (#17024468)
    While you sound like a troll, your UID would seem to indicate otherwise.

    Between the Salem Witch Trials, Blue laws, and various other puritanical ideologies that made there way into lawbooks, it is obvious that Judeo-Christian values were a normal part of society. The fact that still a very high percent of US citizens claim a version of Christianity would imply that a government by the people and for the people would continue to reflect those values.

    In the '50s, the placement of In God we trust as our motto was not starting something new, but was solidifying what had been the norm, and was coming under attack. Again, since Judeo-Christian values were being removed from their position of influence, the people reacted by attempting to solidify that this was, indeed, at its core, a nation of based around christian principles. There was no need for that "motto" since it was understood before recent history.

    What most Christians are opposed to is one sided removal of Christianity from anything public for the fear of breaking the establishment clause.

    There are certainly your fundies who take issue with walmart having season's greeting, but those are a small (thought admittedly vocal) minority.
  • by glhturbo ( 32785 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @05:38PM (#17024472)
    Well, I believe in the right to bear arms, and I cannot wait for our administration to be out in the next elections....

    But, here's my answer to your question: If I walk into the capitol building with a bomb strapped to me and make demands of our lawmakers, that could be considered terrorism. If I plot with another group to walk into the capitol building, armed to the teeth, and attempt to make demands of our lawmakers, I'm pretty sure that's treason. If the government rolls tanks into my town, and makes demands of me, I and my armed neighbors can say, "I think not". Not that we'd win, but we could try. I guess the point is that individuals acting alone are treasonous terrorists, but once some critical mass of Americans decides "The hell with this", it crosses into revolution, and we need a way to protect Americans' rights to make the decision to join the critical mass or not.
  • by Rotten168 ( 104565 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @05:40PM (#17024524) Homepage
    His party was in charge of Lousiana when Katrina occurred?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @05:42PM (#17024550)
    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?

    Yes, violently overthrowing the government is treason. There is no difference. The rights you mention are protected in case the people ever needed to commit treason again.

    Note that word "again". The Constitution was written mostly by men who had committed treason against the British crown. They did not do so lightly. They took the matter so seriously that they told the whole world precisely why they were taking such a drastic step. That document is the Declaration of Independence.

    In setting up our current government, they realized that it was not perfect, and that one day it might become as great a tyranny as ever Great Britian had been. So they tried to protect the means by which the people could once again rise in bloody revolution.

    That's why the "terrorists" the government is so deathly afraid of are not the Muslims. The Muslims might blow up a few buildings, kill a few people, but are no threat to the government of the United States. It's the people of the U.S. that the government is afraid will rise up and slay every last government official, and then start over anew.

    What they sadly don't understand is that the more they try to restrict the people of the U.S., to prevent the revolt that they fear, the more likely they make the revolt.

    I just hope I don't live long enough to see that day, when enough people have reached their breaking point, and enough recall the words of Patrick Henry: "If this be treason, make the most of it."
  • by starX ( 306011 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @05:43PM (#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.
  • by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @05:44PM (#17024610) Journal
    saider said:
    "Most people ignore the fact that the Founding Fathers established a system that was borderline anarchy. Just enough to keep a lid on things and let the people solve the problems themselves."

    Brother, you are singing my tune. Before the election, I went back and read a little Tom Paine and other Enlightenment thinkers (Rights of Man, Age of Reason, etc).

    Anybody who thinks they were a bunch of button-down, churchgoers who would have blanched at the wide-open societies that followed them are really missing the boat. They would have loved the Internet, porn and all, and probably would have put a would-be tin-pot like Dick Cheney in the stocks for public ridicule.

    One thing that amazed me was how similar some of the pamphlet-writing of that era was to modern-day blogs and The Daily Show. These were LIBERAL men, with a capital-L, including James Madison, the patron saint of Republicans. Madison would have cuffed Tom DeLay and Newt Gingrich for badly missing the point. Ben Franklin, needless to say, would have stuck his big-buckle shoe up the backside of someone like Rick Santorum faster than you could say "man on dog".
  • Common Sense (Score:2, Insightful)

    by JoeRandomHacker ( 983775 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @05:46PM (#17024644)
    Look, folks, let's think about this for a second. The talk was given to a group handing out an award for protecting freedom of speech. You would have to be heir to the throne of the Kingdom of Idiots to go in front of such a group and claim to want to restrict freedom of speech. Regardless of what you think of Newt's politics, he isn't an idiot, and above all he is a politician. Politicians just don't go around slapping their constituency in the face; it just wouldn't make sense.

    The bottom line is that the article got it wrong, either through error or (as I personally would suspect) intent. Newt publishes transcripts of a number of his speeches on his web site, [] Maybe if it shows up there we'll know what was said.

    (As an aside, I'm registered non-partisan, and lean towards libertarian, so I'm not here toting the Republican party line. I have heard Newt talk on C-SPAN, though, and I do respect a lot of what he says.)
  • Re:Message of FEAR (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @05:50PM (#17024698)
    How on Dog's Blue/Green Earth did you go blind and not even notice? 10 years ago the terrorist were not in possession of nuclear weapons...thanks to our Liberal ways in the US, we have alowed these same terrorists to arm and train themselves for a long fight with us "infadels." we have also allowed them to come into our country and prepare for their next attack! Weather they are here on student Visa's (taking out loans they will never pay back), or here teaching their religion (of peace...yea right).
  • by JavaLord ( 680960 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @06:15PM (#17025204) Journal
    The United States of America carried out one of the most successful genocides in the history of mankind. How many American Indians (Native Americans) do you know?

    A few, I happen to be related to one actually. To be quite honest with you, if the shoe was on the other foot the Indians would have killed all of the white men, and if any were left over today they sure as shit wouldn't be getting special rights and privileges in an Indian society. Nor would any of them be emotionally weak enough to feel guilty about a victory on the battlefield.

  • by Cerebus ( 10185 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @06:19PM (#17025264) Homepage
    It's a basic part of the whole orthodoxy mindset.

    I call it the "Certainty of God," and it's deadly, dangerous thing. People who are sure they have God on their side are capable of any atrocity.

    Doubt is that which keeps Man in check. Doubt is what makes faith work.

  • by weatherboy ( 46426 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @06:20PM (#17025290) Homepage
    You mean, sounds like the typical anti-Christian stereotype of modern American Evangelical Christians. Where did you pick up this ridiculously biased and inaccurate view, in college or something?

    None of the points you've made are at all representative of American Evangelical Christians, and in fact that last one seems especially representative of left-wingers. Remind me who keeps attacking / shouting down speakers on college campuses?
  • by Marxist Hacker 42 ( 638312 ) * <> on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @06:27PM (#17025384) Homepage Journal
    Not to mention the rotted meat and other positive things the government provided them. I believe it is one of the saddest chapters of American history. Although when I studied history I have to say American History shows we have been anything but the caring, wonderful, people we like to think we have been. Our motives have been at least as self serving as any other countries.

    It's impossible for any country that adopts capitalism as a basic economic model to be anything OTHER than self-serving. Profit is the only value that counts in capitalism, all else follows.

    But we are trying to be better.

    No, I don't think we are. If anything, we're slowly getting WORSE.
  • incompetence (Score:4, Insightful)

    by idlake ( 850372 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @06:49PM (#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.
  • Re:Their America? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DigiShaman ( 671371 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @06:51PM (#17025902) Homepage
    One of the keys to winning the war on terror is to stop being so afraid.
    ...and fight back!

    I dunno about you, but if some religious zelot (or anyone for that matter) starts attacking my country and its people, there will be hell to pay. If they wanna play games, fine...let's play by our rules and our terms!
  • by kcbrown ( 7426 ) <> on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @07:03PM (#17026074)

    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...

    Then again, nothing.

    Get this through your thick skull: freedom has a price. The price is risk. Freedom is dangerous.

    If you wanna live in a completely sanitized world in which all the dangers are "taken care of" for you then you must give up all your freedom. But after having done so, don't be surprised if you suddenly find that not only are the dangers are still there, but there are even more of them, with the greatest of them coming from the very entity you trusted to "protect" you. And you'll be a slave, since that's what it means to not have any freedom. Oh, and did I mention that you'll also be a pussy-assed wimp for giving up your freedom in order to live free of danger?

    I, for one, would rather live with danger and retain my freedom. I'd much rather live with the super-low probability (less than that of being struck by lightning!) of being killed by a terrorist than give up an ounce of my freedom to "fight" those same terrorists.

    If you really wanna give up your freedom for safety, there are already plenty of countries you can move to for that, e.g., China. Feel free. Just don't expect to have the freedom to move back here when you discover that the promised "safety" that comes with losing your freedom isn't exactly what you had in mind.

    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?

    The answer is: you 'tolerate' him until he does something that violates your rights. Until then, you do nothing. Toleration of things that you don't like but which don't violate your rights goes with the territory of freedom. Deal with it. As for dealing with an attack, that's what a defensive military is for. 9/11 wouldn't have happened if our defensive military had been behaving the way it was supposed to (the fact that it conveniently wasn't on that particular day is very suspicious in and of itself).

  • by nurb432 ( 527695 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @07:25PM (#17026412) Homepage Journal
    ya, cant suppprt the very document he was sworn to protect and uphold.

    Good thing hes pretty much worthless at this point and no one important listens to him.

  • by Guuge ( 719028 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @07:42PM (#17026640)
    How do YOU stop someone sitting next to you whose beliefs are not only inimical to yours, but he WANTS to kill you?

    We deal with murderers with a system of justice that administers punishments for crimes. We can't preemptively stop all murders from taking place, but we can hope for justice. This system has served us reasonably well so far. What makes Newt think that now is the time to change it? Does he have some secret information that the murder rate is going to spike in the near future? (Will the measures he's suggesting even have an appreciable effect on the murder rate?) No, it's more likely that he's an ideologue as the grandparent described.

    ...since so MANY people are so instantly ready to criticize, they MUST have solutions themselves, right?

    I doubt there will be any solutions, because you have not proposed a problem. There have always been people who would think nothing of killing you. What's this special new problem you want us to solve for you?

  • by surfcow ( 169572 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @07:53PM (#17026788) Homepage
    If a snow-turd like Newt is the really best our Democracy can do, maybe we need to reexamine Democracy.

    I propose we select public officials by Lottery. Completely at random.

    Don't laugh too quick. What's the worst that could happen? An alcoholic in the White House? An bumbling idiot? A chronic liar? A child-molester? An egomaniac? A greedy weasel? A corporate puppet? We've had all these and worse. J. Random Citizen would do less damage, and probably more good.

    And this way, we might live to see a Woman in the White House
    or a Black man
    or an Atheist
    or a Homosexual
    or ... (gasp) ... a Poor Person.

  • by hairpinblue ( 1026846 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @08:05PM (#17026938) Journal
    > They even advocate violent overthrow of the government

    I don't suppose you've read the Declaration of Independence [] lately? "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."

    If the government won't behave properly then it must go. If it won't go peacefully then, by all means, it is the People's right to remove it by force.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @08:57PM (#17027512)
    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

    Ah, the typical Republican cry for help: "We're running out of buildings to blow up, our soldiers spend their days driving around in circles waiting for someone to jump out and try to kill them, we're trying to fight a war of attrition but the enemy just keeps on recruiting faster than they die, won't anyone PLEASE tell us what to do?!"

    Repeatedly, suicide bombers have killed dozens of Iraqi children just to get at one or two soldiers handing out candy. Total outrage: not a whole lot []. For some reason, our government is all too happy to play the "won't you PLEASE think of the children" card against fellow Americans, but when it comes to Iraq, going around and convincing the mothers that if they don't turn in the terrorist building a bomb next door, that their children is going to be so much potted meat apparently stinks too much of "huggy feely hearts and minds liberal hippie shit" to actually even try. Think about it: right now we can't even discredit a group that intentionally goes around slaughtering children and blowing up weddings.

    We show up and launch missiles to level entire apartment buildings then do a great big victory dance to let everyone know beyond any doubt that WE came and wiped out 50 entire families just to kill the one terrorist who wasn't even in the building that day. If you're going to kill them all anyway, smuggle a fucking bomb into the building and set it off at 3AM. Send in the Iraqi Puppet Police to discover the remains of a "terrorist ammunition dump", and jam al jazeera's (or whatever their name is) signal to broadcast a "special bulletin": are YOUR neighbors incompetent fuckwits playing with explosive shit? Call 555-terrorist and report them today before YOUR apartment building is the next one to explode at 3AM! Oh, and by the way, if you're killed by an idiot who blows himself up doing something stupid, you don't get any virgins.

    Every time a new bin Laden tape shows up, the CIA has to spend weeks trying to figure out if its authentic. If it's THAT easy to fake, they should have faked a few (too late now). Clear out some podunk town, then throw a tape on the air: "Our glorious troops must gloriously regroup at glorious podunkville for our glorious revolution against the American forces. Meet up at podunkville and get your rocket launchers and bombs, 2 for one special this Friday!" Proceed to blow up everything that moves. Add chaos to confusion: tapes proclaiming that other tapes are fake. Tapes proclaiming that bin Laden is agreeing to a cease fire in exchange for medical care. Tapes telling terrorists that there are soft American targets in the middle of nowhere, where there (is nothing but empty desert|the entire army waiting and ready for them). I guess this idea just didn't have enough guns to dick around with for anyone on Bush's crew to have thought of.

    Those are just things I've thought of, and I'm not even a military strategist, I'm just a lowly computer programmer. Maybe Bush should recruit some people who actually know war instead of appointing campaign donors and friends to important posts. It'd also help if Bush hadn't repeatedly attempted to purge everyone from the CIA who didn't agree to back him on his WMD delusion. Surrounding yourself with nothing but incompetents and Yes Men is a beautiful way to fail spectacularly but a horrible way to run a war.
  • Re:Newt (Score:2, Insightful)

    by 10101001 10101001 ( 732688 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @08:59PM (#17027540) Journal
    It should be pointed that the few attempts at LEGISLATION that would curtail free speech was sponsored by Democrats.

    And how many LEGISLATIONS were sponsored, passed, and overturned as unconstitutional that tried for further broaden child pornography (to cartoons) and to make it infeasible to host pornography online (stricken down as unconstitutional and eventually reworked as only required by commercial sources, as the burden on non-commercial sources was too great). But I guess you don't consider those "speech". Or are you simply being overly selective to ignore that there are few (if any) political parties that don't have an element that have or want to pass legislation to curtail speech?

    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.

    People "whine" when you murder a person in cold blood. It has little to do with the person "inventing" murder. It does have a lot to do with being *responsible* for murder.

    Suspension of habeas corpus for prisoners of war has been the standard for nearly 65 years in the United States.

    Such is irrelevant. Slavery existed for over 70 years in the United States, yet it clearly was against the Constitution. The fact that there has been a long period of ignoring the Constitution doesn't magically make an act constitutional.

    In fact, President Lincoln utilized it during wartime.

    Lincoln didn't just utilize it during wartime. He utilized it in a time of rebellion/invasion. "The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it." Golly, it looks like Lincoln had a just basis for suspending it. Now, who has invaded the US? Who is rebellion in it? Before you claim that 9/11 is the act, I will make note that the Supreme Court overturned Lincoln's military tribunals conducted in areas were the courts were open. Now, tell me of a place in the US where the courts *aren't* open. If you can't think of one, it rather reasonably follows that there couldn't be a rebellion or invasion, so there's no justification for suspending the writ of habeas corpus.

    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.

    It doesn't matter if every single Congressman unanimously voted that Bush was God. So long as the 4th Amendment stands, unreasonable search and seizure is barred. Any reasonable search needs a Warrant. Now, the least you could claim is that Congress gave Bush Warrants. But there are none. Simply put, the request to wiretap hundreds or thousands of phones because they were "associates" of terrorists for indeterminate time doesn't fulfill the obligation of the Warrant to conduct a search.

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

    An illegal standard, sure. If you spend 65 years believing the illegal is legal, it's little wonder you'd think the 4th Amendment being bypassable has any legal foundation.

    Indeed, it's provided for in the U.S. Constitution, and the Bush administration followed the standard required by the court.

    Oh, really? Feel free to quote me the part of the US Constitution that usurps the 4th Amendment. I'm really all ears on that one.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @10:18PM (#17028198)
    You're vastly oversimplifying:

    > Commands you to kill:
    > Qur'an - check

    Infidels, yes--i.e. anyone other than a Christian or Jew (who pay a tax) and Muslims. We've all heard the infamous "slay them wherever you find them." And various other bits in enforcing certain laws, protecting Muslim lands, killing any Muslim who converts to anything else, etc. Honestly, though, I'm not overly familiar with it. I do understand, however, that there are some people who see it as their duty to kill civilians in certain areas for some combination of political and religious reasons as well as others who decry their actions.

    > Bible - check

    There's some stuff about ancient tribes, yes, but they're gone. Or can you point out any particular person that either a Christian or a Jew is supposedly obligated to kill?

    Oh, right, now you're going to mention the law enforcement part in the same breath... Yes, they did have the death penalty back then, it's true, and even for crimes people no longer recognize as such. But that's pretty much irrelevant to modern Christians, at least--read up on that woman caught in adultery.

    You seem to have left out lots of details in your hasty equivocation. I mean, why couldn't we add one more document to your list?

    US Constitution - check (death penalty for treason)

    And perhaps that should be considered an atheist document? I suspect that I need not relate to you all the arguments against the US being or ever having been a Christian nation, such as the 1796-97 Treaty with Tripoli which spells that out explicitly ...
  • by Reziac ( 43301 ) * on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @10:29PM (#17028306) Homepage Journal
    Exactly so :( We've no practical way to force the gov't to live within its means, and stop robbing us blind. And so long as they effectively hold our purse strings, they have control. And as I've said over and over, the only TRUE freedom is economic. Without money, other freedoms are just so much verbiage, since you're effectively prevented from using them. Control the money, control the freedoms, if only from fear of losing the good life you've got.

    A shooting revolution isn't realistic in These Modern Times, as there aren't enough truly starving people to generate that level of rebellion (I'd guestimate around half the population has to be in chronic distress before a revolution can happen anywhere), nor is there anywhere for the disgruntled to retreat to and strike from (as there was with frontier America). When we do get space colonies, that may change.

  • by oobi ( 620065 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @10:41PM (#17028398)
    if the moderators would indulge me, i'd like to post a youtube link to a one and a half minute segment of John F. Kennedy's speech about free speech: [] it isn't my post, just happened across it and remembered this slashdot topic...
  • Re:Newt (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Vitriol+Angst ( 458300 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @11:04PM (#17028570)
    Mode 10101001 10101001 up -- you said it how I wanted to.

    Further I would add, that sitting here trying to defend the pure frontal assault on Liberty in the past six years -- by comparing it to "dog and pony" morality shows by Tipper Gore (took me a while to forgive Gore for that nonsense) pales in comparison to Patriot Act I, II, and every other thing Bush has done.

    Warrantless and massive spying... who wants to continue to pretend that ANY of this has anything to do with "bad guys." Where are they and where are the trials? Why do I feel that they've done more to cover up 9/11 than to investigate it? A few weeks into office, and the first attack happened while Clinton was in charge. His response was swift and immediate that day. The FBI was put in charge. A couple years later the blind Mullah was in prison with his cohorts. No changes in law, case closed. It was all open and seemed pretty straight-forward, even with a negative press.

    So all this nonsense about "defending America" was to get dirt on political opposition. They aren't defending kids from molesters, their finding Mark Foley, and then blackmailing him to do their bidding. In fact, if they catch you at something really bad, I'm sure that the NeoCon machine wants you in charge of a committee, or in a position of power -- so that they can control you. This administration has shunned honest people of ethics and is run like the Mob.

    So the discussion is Bogus, and Newt as the absentee father of this deformed NeoCon movement, needs to do some pennance and start outing those who would abuse Liberty if he ever wants credibility again. Otherwise, he's pretending to be some sort of honest bystander, musing about "how could such a crime happen?" Newt didn't do the mugging, but he sprayed paint on the cameras, sold the "stolen" and unmarked gun, and sent the police to the wrong building.

    He's just begging to be relevant again, as we swop one set of crooks for another. Go get another $4 Million book deal from Rupert Murdoch again while you sit on a committee reviewing his consolidation of media ownership Newt, and then muse some more about how this corruption got started. Some people have no memory of the past -- and that is your base.
  • Money (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Mark_MF-WN ( 678030 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @11:21PM (#17028712)
    What are frex and mill levies? Do mills still exist in large numbers? And would levies on them actually produce enough money to run a bagel shop, let alone a government?

    Seriously though. I don't think it's about how much money the government takes. It's about how it's treated. It's about how open the spending and budgeting is. The people should treat the government like a service organization. How much value are you getting for your dollar? If it's low, replace the employees with new ones that will provide better value. If certain services are deemed to be unnecessary (due to, say, better services being offered privately), those services get cut. Etc. The problem is that people can get this idea that the government is just a pit into which money is thrown -- and at that point, they stop expecting to get anything back. The government becomes a villainous black-box. And when people expect the government to be corrupt and waste money ... the government will end up doing exactly those things and will get away with it because that's exactly what everyone assumes they're going to do anyway.

  • by catchblue22 ( 1004569 ) on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @01:46AM (#17029584) Homepage

    Terrorism is not a threat to the life of a nation. It is a nuisance. A deadly and horrifying nuisance. But a nuisance nevertheless. It should be dealt with forcefully, but in dealing with it, America should not give up its fundamental principles of freedom and become a defacto fascist state.

    A standing army across your border waiting to invade IS a threat to the life of a nation. The German army waiting to invade Poland and France was a threat to the life of those nations. North Korea poses a true threat to South Korea, as North Korea can kill MILLIONS of people within a few minutes using artillery barrages. Compare this to the threat of a few bombs going off. Individually, these events are terrible and horrifying, but in reality, these bombs will affect a relatively small number of people. Their real effect lies in the fear they generate and the reactions caused by that fear. I would ask you to imagine living in London during the blitz of World War II, when huge areas of the city were destroyed. Imagine what those people had to live through. And then compare that to the above list of bombs and suicide attacks.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @01:53AM (#17029612)
    Let me get this straight... In order to fight terrorism the usa pushes democracy and freedom abroad. In a new twist, some seek to limit free speech in order to fight terrorism. I have one question. Since our democracy and freedom rests squarely on our first amendment rights to free speech(that is why it's our first and most important amendment), how can we say that democracy and freedom is important to fighting terrorism, perhaps the terrorist are right and we are wrong?
  • by Kunedog ( 1033226 ) on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @03:17AM (#17030050)
    If you're gonna try to eliminate free speech that you don't like, then do it for a really, really good cause [] and avoid the backslash. Doesn't hurt to be a Democrat, either.
  • Move to Israel (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @03:43AM (#17030170)
    Yeah, but that's not nearly genocidal enough. Genocidal would be instead of funding dictators and revolutionaries and drug lords and private armies, simply nuking any country that gets in our way. That's the level of evil we need to aspire to if we're ever going to impress Bedouin Arabs to do our bidding.
    You are one sick bastard. You should move to Israel, your morality would fit in nicely there.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @04:01AM (#17030224)

    I call bullshit.

    Firstly, an economic model is about economics. If you make profit the only scale on which you measure your self-worth then that's your own malfunction. Social skills, freedom, happiness, sex, wildflowers, raising children, working at something you love to do, and just about everything else in life are tangentially related to profit at most.

    I also call bullshit, because clearly, the amount of sex you have is totally related to the amount of profit you have made. And since sex is central to happiness, raising children and pretty much everything else that matters, clearly profit is the central idiom of modern life.

    The U.S. tried to stay out of both WWI and WWII. We tried to be neutral. We tried not to put our noses in other people's business. What happened? Zimmerman happened. The Lusitania happened. Pearl Harbor happened. We rebuilt Germany and Japan. We set them on the road to peace.

    So, we tried to help people who wanted help. South Korea. South Vietnam. The Contras. The Mujahadeen (sp?). Lebanon. Bosnia, per the U.N. Somalia, per the U.N. Kuwait, per the U.N. again. Saudi Arabia, by request of that country's government. What happened? The the Beirut USMC barracks got bombed. The WTC got bombed. The U.S.S. Cole got attacked. The WTC got attacked again and was destroyed. The Pentagon was attacked. Four planefuls of people were murdered as part of those attacks in addition to those at the targets. You know what Beirut, the Cole, the WTC, the Pentagon, our embassies, the trains in Spain, the tubes in London, and the the planes hijacked for murder have in common? They were all destroyed because countries like the U.S., Spain, and the U.K. believe in helping the people in other countries when they are asked. The very so-called freedom fighters that we helped escape Soviet occupation in Afghanistan turned right around and attacked us for being on Saudi soil when the Saudi government asked us to be there.

    Do you really believe this stuff? You are drinking Israeli coolaid, my friend... Why Israeli coolaid? What was WW I and WW II really about? Do you know anything outside of what you have been taught mostly via Israeli propaganda? Do you know about the founding of Israel and how that is related to those two wars? Do some research.

    Israeli civilians get blown up all the time because their military accidentally kills a few innocent people when they take out rocket-firing militia men. This despite the fact that Israel is trying to give the West Bank and Gaza to the Palestinians. Israel is forcing its own citizens to move because it wants to give land it took legally in a war in which it was invaded to people who support the destruction of Israel. One of the biggest popular excuses for hating the U.S. right now is that the U.S. supports the very right of Israel to exist. If being so interested in preserving another country which itself is willing to give up part of its land to likely enemies is self-serving, then your vocabulary must come from some language other than English.

    Israeli civilians get blown up because their military accidentally kills a few innocent people? Are you serious?

    Israel has effected a genocidal program of ruthless extermination against a mostly poor unarmed population for the last 90 years. For that period of time, the Israelis have been ruthlessly killing women, children, the elderly and pretty much anyone else they can get their claws on - attempting to terrify the palestinian population to move from regions of interest. And once the population moves, the Israelis exclaim "We are taking this land because nobody lives here.". They bulldoze everything and then set their sites on the next region of interest. In the interest of propaganda, the Israelis occasionally hand some land back and then tell the world, "look how generous we are to the terrorist Palestinians". Then, after their little press release, they go back

  • by Kombat ( 93720 ) <> on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @09:45AM (#17032420) Homepage
    if the shoe was on the other foot the Indians would have killed all of the white men, and if any were left over today they sure as shit wouldn't be getting special rights and privileges in an Indian society. Nor would any of them be emotionally weak enough to feel guilty about a victory on the battlefield.

    "Don't be fooled Timmy, If a Cow had the chance he'd kill you and everyone you care about!" -- Troy McLure.

    Am I the only one who was reminded of this quote by the parent's wildly fanatical fearmongering?

%DCL-MEM-BAD, bad memory VMS-F-PDGERS, pudding between the ears