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Governments are now using filters to censor internet content at an alarming rate

According to a recent report conducted by University of Toronto, Harvard, Oxford and Cambridge, 26 of 40 countries surveyed utilize some degree of state-sponsored software filtering.

China, Iran, Syria, Tunisia, Vietnam, Uzbekistan, Oman, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Morocco, and Singapore were mentioned as countries actively filtering its citizens.

The study found that many of the Middle Eastern countries mainly filtered international news.  Saudi Arabia focuses its censorship on political sites, pornography and gambling.  Tunisia also focuses their filter on pornography and sites that dealt with human rights and political opposition to the government. 

South Korea enabled filters to eliminate North Korean web sites.  Thailand, while not in the report, recently filtered YouTube and other video-sharing websites that disseminated videos critical of the country's king.

According to the University of Toronto report, Russia, Venezuela, Egypt, Hong Kong, Israel and Iraq were among the countries found that did not enable any sort of state-sponsored of content filtering.

SmartFilter, developed by Secure Computing in San Jose, California, is one of the more popular software filtering tools found used today.  Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Sudan and Tunisia are currently using this software.

Other countries simply display a default page or  a DNS error in an attempt to mask that any censorship is taking place. China, by far the worst offender according to the report, recently censored the entire LiveJournal network in an attempt to block individual blogs.

A brief lax in the Great Firewall of China resulted in major headlines last year.  For a six hour period, all users inside China were able to view and search for content typically deemed unviewable by the Chinese government.  The Chinese government, Skype and Google have since declared it their right to continue to censor and promote censorship as a cost of doing business in such countries. Last year Yahoo! spoke openly against censorship in China, yet only a month later it was discovered that Yahoo! is one of the most censored western portals inside China.

"Once the tools are in place, authorities realize that the Internet can be controlled. There used to be a myth that the Internet was immune to regulation. Now governments are realizing it's actually the opposite," said associate professor of political science at the University of Toronto, Ron Deibert.

The report did not include western countries, citing North American censorship typically takes place because of copyright infractions.  None of the 40 countries observed during the analysis incorporated any filtering based on intellectual property concerns.



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Well
By Treckin on 5/20/2007 3:50:17 PM , Rating: 1
While drinking booze and looking at porn may be facets of western society, it just so happens that the countries are not banning pictures of people getting drunk. They are systemically banning anti-government speech. While some may say the Americans are morally degenerate for the aforementioned reason, I believe that is the exact reason our country will persevere; by allowing almost total freedom, especially of speech, the government has found the most effective form of revolution suppression. Allowing people to be free allows them express themselves peacefully, not feeling the heat of necessity to be heard through government suppression.
The main issue I see in this scenario that dooms these countries from the get go is their Theo-political agendas; Religious suppression is ultimately more damaging than genocide or prohibition of alcohol. None of the countries listed will survive the test of time...
The members of the second continental congress were genius because they realized that in order for government to withstand the test of time, it had to cede some rights to the people, merely to placate them. That is how the government in the US remains stable though trials and tribulations. In psychology, it’s called catharsis, or an emotional release. By allowing the people that freedom, the government has effectively avoided an uprising, while maintaining total control and rule of law.

As I said, IMO none of the countries will last 100 more years, and most likely not even the next 20.




RE: Well
By SiN on 5/20/2007 4:04:55 PM , Rating: 2
Except China of course who have remained for 2000 years.


RE: Well
By wrekd on 5/20/2007 4:56:26 PM , Rating: 2
China has been a red state for 2000 years?

You are wrong...repent!

We can call China "China" for the next 15000 years. If there political system changes so does the country (and its age drops to zero).

Perhaps you would like to recalculate the age of China?


RE: Well
By carage on 5/21/2007 5:15:13 AM , Rating: 3
He isn't neccessarily wrong.
China's rulers has started on a path of censorship pretty much since the first Emperor of Qin came along and ordered scholars to be executed and books burned.
The traditional philosophy is to keep the peasants fed and ignorant, then the government stays in power.


RE: Well
By Ringold on 5/21/2007 1:18:24 PM , Rating: 5
I may view it wrong, and my Chinese history is admittedly soft, but I'd reset the counter for China with Mao.

America could almost be reset at the Civil War, but as is often the case with democratic progress, asides from 600,000 killed and massive damage done to infrastructure, politically not a ton changed. The government continued and, for the first time in at least modern history, an election was even held in the midst of war.

Likewise, I'd reset Russia with the end of the Tsar's, France with the 'Glorious Revolution', and so forth.

But just as fair to say China is much older; it just doesn't convey a more important truth (that it's current political system isn't nearly that old).


RE: Well
By rudy on 5/21/2007 5:00:38 PM , Rating: 2
You can reset countries with a political system but really there is no point. The people and culture stayed the same and so did the abuse of power. It really did not matter that the czars were removed from power as extreme times would come when Stalin moved in. And the emperors of China exhibited the same ruthless control over their citizens the communist did. The same is true in Thailand now one corrupt leader was over thrown to be replaced by another. The point is it is more about the culture then the fake name they label their current government system with.


RE: Well
By Ringold on 5/21/2007 5:22:42 PM , Rating: 2
If you and the other guy that replied don't know the stark changes that took place with Mao's take-over, then your posts make sense. However, speaking just as someone with an economics background, I know *something* serious changed, a massive break with its past history, because it's economy's share of global GDP was devastated after Mao. Since economic changes go hand in hand with societal changes (usually), I stand by my belief Mao definitely hit the reset button.

What is drastic enough of a change is open to debate though, I'll admit. I think the French Revolution counts as a valid reset of the age of government, but to follow you and the other guy's logic, since they were cheese eating surrender monkeys beforehand and cheese eating surrender monkeys afterwords (minus several hundred thousand other cheese eating surrender monkeys -- didnt eat enough cheese?), one could say France is the same as it's always been.


RE: Well
By bubbacub616 on 5/21/2007 5:10:40 PM , Rating: 2
Carage has an excellent point.

The systematic centralisation of control and the development of legalism (largely by Li Si - Qin's advisor) set the people of China on a course over the last 2000 years - the current communist rulers (Mao included) have controlled China in a very similar way to the various dynasties over the millennia. You can in some way compare Qin's construction of the great wall of China (when 1/4 or 1/3 of the population of China was conscripted into building it) with Mao's cultural revolution (and the millions he killed/caused to die by blundering along with his own vision). I therefore think one should consider that China has functioned as a whole geopolitical entity for the last 2 thousand years.


RE: Well
By Lightning III on 5/22/2007 3:12:26 PM , Rating: 2
sorry the govt your calling china moved to tiawan and then they killed anybody w/ acollage dergree and stated over if that not reset what is


RE: Well
By KristopherKubicki (blog) on 5/22/2007 3:46:59 PM , Rating: 2
You should read up on what the KMT did when they took over Taiwan.


RE: Well
By Lightning III on 5/22/2007 7:21:28 PM , Rating: 2
ooops I was talking China's cultural reveolution the only dictator who ranks worse for killing his own is pol pot

althgough being more of a military historian I am admittedly weak after the armies bow out


RE: Well
By Lightning III on 5/22/2007 7:29:42 PM , Rating: 2
your over simplifing

ming's are the same as manchu and their all identical to communists

from buddah to godlessness

its all the same to you

from a strict almost caste system

to execute all the teachers

because education is elitism

please


RE: Well
By bloosteak on 5/20/2007 4:23:44 PM , Rating: 3
all of those countries have lasted FAR longer than America


RE: Well
By Spotacus on 5/20/2007 4:59:56 PM , Rating: 2
I believe he is speaking more of the length of the governments of those countries. Yeah, sure the countries have been there in some sort of name and shape but they are really defined by the their latest incarnation of government. Which, when you look at most (possibly all, not sure), the American government has been around longer. BTW, Israel hasn't been around longer as country.


RE: Well
By wrekd on 5/20/2007 5:11:10 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
all of those countries have lasted FAR longer than America


Sorry but your statement has no context and is wrong

Syria 1964
Vietnam 1954
Uzbekistan 1991

Perhaps your definition of country is different from mine? Did you mean the geologic age of the bedrock? Because the rocks should be roughly the same age too.


RE: Well
By Enoch2001 on 5/20/2007 6:01:56 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Perhaps your definition of country is different from mine? Did you mean the geologic age of the bedrock? Because the rocks should be roughly the same age too.
quote:


Your definition of a country is way different than reality, because the age of bedrock has no bearing on the age of a politically organized body of people under a single government. ;-)


RE: Well
By 91TTZ on 5/21/2007 12:53:35 PM , Rating: 5
all of those countries have lasted FAR longer than America

America's government has lasted 231 years so far. The other countries' governments are much younger. The actual landmass was there for a while, and people have lived on that land mass, but the government has changed.

China's government took power in October 1, 1949.


RE: Well
By hadifa on 5/20/2007 7:34:08 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
As I said, IMO none of the countries will last 100 more years, and most likely not even the next 20.


By country I assume you mean the current governments and regimes.

Even if the regimes change in a foreseeable future, it does not mean whatever replace them will be any better or more tolerant.

If these governments were censoring what is considered degenerate in their societies then there would not be much to complain about but the people in power want the filters to protect their position by censoring and suffocating any opposing voice.

Of course I don’t know this to be true in all of them but the ones I have been to, still reading about them shows me a similar pattern.


RE: Well
By cocoman on 5/21/2007 9:20:31 AM , Rating: 2
Actually I wouldnt be so proud of the US because of freedom of speech. Since 11/09 the Patriot Act has enabled the government to filter every news from the war. People who has International channels can tell you about how every news channel outside the US had much more videos and information about the war in Irak and Afghanistan than the US news channels. According to the UN, the US is one countrys that violates more the UNHRD within the "developed world".


RE: Well
By Nfarce on 5/21/2007 9:29:32 AM , Rating: 2
I'll take the words from my Marine brother on the ground over there over ANY news outlet, be it CNN or Al Jazeera ANY day. Only negative news comes out of Iraq ("Bombing Kills 12" instead of "New school opened in former hostile territory today."). The soldiers there are VERY frustrated at how the media is playing things out. Sure bad things happen, but so do good things.

For the record, our way of doing things domestically and internationally changed forever on 09/11/2001. If we p!ss some people off because they don't like the way we do some things, that's too bad. It's better to have mad people than dead people on our watch.


RE: Well
By Ringold on 5/21/2007 1:31:43 PM , Rating: 2
I'll second that. I talk to one Marine and two Army soldiers almost daily on EVE Online these days (yes, these three happen to be able to lay down at night at a place where they can play an MMO) and they say much the same. I can't tell if they're angry over the media bias or just deepy, severely frustrated. Perhaps both. People like Reid who try to suggest they're too busy to know what goes on in the media and therefore hearing that Congress can't manage to give them funding within attaching a mountain of pork (or don't hear CNN's propaganda) just betray the fact they have no concept of what the troops do and do not have access to. These three I know do at least 12 hour days, 6 days a week, and are aware every minute they're on the job what disappointing BS is going on at home.


RE: Well
By Lightning III on 5/22/2007 3:10:40 PM , Rating: 1
what a sad sad day when little bushies have to stare at one little spot through a microscope to say how wonderful it is over there that they can play video games all night.

first to ask a soldier is the stupidest thing. the military invented the mushroom treatment (keep you in the dark and pile shit on your head)

I guess at their weekly briefing w/ Patraues that goes out to all privates told them that

I guess your own local news has more school openings than accidents "what a crock"

ask any former military the military is a closed society whith their own propaganda arm and if they had't lied so much in the past

maybe the press would belevie it when they start blowing sunshine up their axx

let sombody who's stepfather was drinking a beer in laos when the president went on tv and said there ar no us servicemen in laos ( he was there servicing the secure scrambled phone system for air america = cia)

hell this admistration is probably the king of the liar's

if they wonder why no good news gets reported they brought that shit on themselves.


RE: Well
By CrimsonFrost on 5/21/2007 4:07:13 PM , Rating: 2
"Give me liberty, or give me death"

Our country was founded on this principle... So ya know what? I would rather be dead, than censored and kept seemingly-happy.


RE: Well
By Christopher1 on 5/22/2007 3:12:37 AM , Rating: 2
I have to agree with that statement. I would rather be DEAD than have the government intervening in my life where they darn well do not belong, and censoring my speech.

Now, are there some types of speech that SHOULD be censored? Yes, but only blatant hate speech like from the KKK, Black Panthers, and others like them.


RE: Well
By Dharl on 5/22/2007 9:14:55 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
I have to agree with that statement. I would rather be DEAD than have the government intervening in my life where they darn well do not belong, and censoring my speech .


quote:
Now, are there some types of speech that SHOULD be censored? Yes , but only blatant hate speech like from the KKK, Black Panthers, and others like them.


That is a very hypocritical statement you've made there.

Don't get me wrong. I hate what KKK, and what others like them stand for. However, censorship is censorship . If you truly wanted to stand for freedom of speech. For freedoms as a whole. You would die for their freedom to say the hateful things they say. Just as many of our veterans fought and died for others rights to say the hateful comments towards their actions.

The problem here is you state how you would rather be DEAD than have the government intervening in YOUR LIFE censoring YOUR SPEECH .

Followed by how they need to censor others. Just because YOU don't like and don't want to hear what they have to say. So it's ok to take away other's freedom of speech since their views aren't your own.

Again, very hypocritical.


RE: Well
By CrimsonFrost on 5/22/2007 4:01:42 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, I agree with you. And to sum it up I'll use another quote "Tho I do not agree with what you say, I'll defend to death your right to say it"


RE: Well
By Dharl on 5/23/2007 8:03:56 AM , Rating: 2
Well said, and quoted.


RE: Well
By iNGEN on 5/23/2007 1:02:13 PM , Rating: 2
If you do not like censorship, there can be no accounting for taste.


RE: Well
By CrimsonFrost on 5/24/2007 12:57:10 PM , Rating: 2
Explain yourself? I am not quite sure what you're inferring?


RE: Well
By Some1ne on 5/21/2007 8:35:06 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
It's better to have dead people on someone else's watch than dead people on our watch.


There, I edited your sentence for accuracy. Not that I agree with either version of it.

The only thing we've changed since 9/11/2001 is that we've doubled the number of Americans killed, and thrown on thousands more Iraqi and Afghan civilians for good measure. That, and we've given a whole lot more people a whole lot more reasons (and fairly valid reasons, too, ranging from torture to abducting and unlawfully holding people indefinitely without trial to good old fashioned "collateral damage") to hate us and to conspire to launch even more attacks against us in the future.

The terrorist attacks in 2001 were a terrible tragedy, but they are not a blank check for us to go around doing whatever the fuck we feel like to people the world over as you seem to imply they are.


RE: Well
By Ringold on 5/21/2007 1:27:51 PM , Rating: 2
So you're taking your talking points from the UN? The international soap box that collectively denounces America for taking action on it's own and then seemingly justifies our unilateral tendencies by it's utter failure to stop genocide in Darfur and now, today, despite supposedly having a peacekeeping force in Lebanon, it's failure to stop all hell from breaking loose there?

And that's just today. Lets not forget the blue helmets running from Rwanda like a bunch of whipped children, or the Dutch troops watching the slaughter of Srebrenica right under their noses.

When the UN does something respectable then we can listen to them, but until then, you're taking your talking points from a double-talking group of political cowards of the worst breed.

Besides the fact you probably can't come up with a case where the government has systematically shut out CNN or stopped it from running its propaganda 24-7 I'll point out that heroes of the left, Roosevelt and Lincoln, both had no problem placing the constitution on hold when national security was perceived to be at danger -- which goes to the heart of that old "OMG Patriot Act 1984!!!" line.

We censor when we must (or we should censor when we need to), that's not what makes us special; it's that I can pull up a ton of porn or whatever else I want on a regular basis, even if it offends the government and the masses, that makes us special.


RE: Well
By Lightning III on 5/22/2007 7:52:43 PM , Rating: 1
lets your points one at a time

any problems whith the un are our fault we invented it & financed it. So go look in the mirror when it doesn't roll over when you snap your fingers.

and when our boy's have the Blue helmets on which civillians did we save from attack by lager better armed forces

and as for the Patriot act = less freedom

healthy forest act = clear cutting lumber in national forests

clean air act = allow more indusrtial emission emasculate enforcement

national resource act = drilling for oil in wildlife refuge

if that not orwellian what is

I always listen to what they are calling it completely reverse the logic and I'm usually spot on

the war of words contiues

herman goebels pioneered the big lie

if you say it loud enough and repeat it often enough

some poor sap will start quoting it as fact

]:P>



RE: Well
By MobileZone on 5/23/2007 8:31:36 PM , Rating: 2
Freedom of speech in the US? I would call it "controlled freedom of speech". The US media systematically filters any information that is controversial or against the Mr. Incredible President. If somebody decides to shoot some movie in Cuba, the guy wakes up with some detectives knocking in his door. Is this freedom?

About China, I live in this great Country. I can access as many websites as the guy on the top just said. Some people still think China is all about Mao caps and red flags.

Wake up!


RE: Well
By Pythias on 5/24/2007 2:09:12 PM , Rating: 1
Funny, every day I hear someone from one side of the political spectrum o0r the other bitching about the media. If everybody hates them, they cant all bad.


RE: Well
By drebo on 5/21/2007 4:02:15 PM , Rating: 4
Free speech in the US? Not hardly!

When someone can get fired from their job for talking about a gun, and then have the police show up at their door for making a comic about it, that doesn't really constitute as free speech. At least not in my book.

Ref: http://www.fleen.com/archives/2007/05/03/breaking-...


Yeck...
By Enoch2001 on 5/20/2007 5:58:46 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
According to the University of Toronto report, Russia, Venezuela, Egypt, Hong Kong, Israel and Iraq were among the countries found that did not enable any sort state-sponsored of content filtering...


Sad to see that the USA isn't on that list..?




RE: Yeck...
By lompocus on 5/20/2007 6:04:54 PM , Rating: 1
The thing is, if we had censoring, I STRONGLY doubt we'd even be on this site! (I'm from US btw)

Our DoD censoring thingy is mainly, to use an analogy, prevent people from playing World of Warcraft on BlueGene using a T3 Line. You are still allowed to post whatever the hell you want to on your own computers/laptops and your own internet connections while in the military.


RE: Yeck...
By lompocus on 5/20/2007 6:06:25 PM , Rating: 1
Damn, I wish we could edit comments :(.
One more thing...if the U.S. stabilized Iraq, and if Iraq's on the no-filtering list....then how is it that we use filtering that they do not have? It just doesn't make any logical sense.


RE: Yeck...
By Spotacus on 5/20/2007 7:21:20 PM , Rating: 2
Learn to read:

quote:
The report did not include western countries in its report, citing that North American censorship typically takes place because of copyright infractions. None of the 40 countries observed during the analysis incorporated any filtering based on intellectual property concerns.


RE: Yeck...
By rtrski on 5/20/2007 7:42:09 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Learn to read:
quote:
The report did not include western countries in its report, citing that North American censorship typically takes place because of copyright infractions . None of the 40 countries observed during the analysis incorporated any filtering based on intellectual property concerns.


Maybe rather than a 404 or other "sorry, not found" page, this is just what we're told when we're filtered...the cover story so to speak.

Oops...sorry, didn't wear my tinfoil hat while typing; I'm better now!!


RE: Yeck...
By bighairycamel on 5/21/2007 3:30:35 PM , Rating: 2
Doesn't matter anway, hat or no hat, they'll trace your IP and shut you down pronto! Flee to Canada my friend!


RE: Yeck...
By Ringold on 5/21/2007 5:26:11 PM , Rating: 2
Between subtle social engineering from politicians and outright censorship, I'd prefer censorship. At least then the government is straightforward: you're under our heel, and you can't say that. Social engineering insidiously tries to bring about whatever social utopia exists in politicians vacuous chasms called heads. Plus, Canada can hardly agree that it wants to continue to exist. No thanks. :P


RE: Yeck...
By KernD on 5/20/2007 8:19:35 PM , Rating: 2
Read the article again, the US isn't on the list of country they examined.


RE: Yeck...
By Rampage on 5/20/2007 8:21:03 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Sad to see that the USA isn't on that list..?


No.. why?
America only bans copyright infringements it said.. thats actually illegal to infringe on copyrights? Its protecting intellectual property?


Not trying to enforce any sterotypes
By Faust0 on 5/20/2007 10:35:18 PM , Rating: 2
but isn't Hong Kong in China?




RE: Not trying to enforce any sterotypes
By Treckin on 5/20/2007 10:45:33 PM , Rating: 2
Hong Kong is in china, however it is an independent state, similar to Puerto Rico in the US, with slightly more control. After the British government turned it over to china in 1997, China realized that they could not convert the utterly western state into the same 'state-property' situation as continental China. Thus, Hong Kong pays taxes to China, and is governed by China, yet if orders of magnitude more free, in the context in which we were discussing.


By Ringold on 5/21/2007 1:36:28 PM , Rating: 2
As I recall the way things have happened...

The communist party installed half the.. congress or council or whatever Hong Kong has, leaving the mayor (or premier or whatever) as the major decision maker -- and it was just in the news recently that China fixed the election quite strongly in favor of their candidate, who's obviously in the pocket of the communist party. Businesses I've read have been complaining over the transfer ever since it occured as the real power truely lies with the communist state; any additional freedom's they've enjoyed has been at the rest of the countries liesure, not truly because they're free to vote for them.

In that sense, Hong Kong probably shouldn't be indicated as a seperate state any more.


By kattanna on 5/21/2007 11:43:14 AM , Rating: 2
all you need to do to see that in action is to go to your local library or school

censorship IS censorship..even when it caries the misleading label of "doing it for the children"




What's all about
By MobileZone on 5/24/2007 3:13:35 PM , Rating: 2
It is all about Huxley and Orwell.




Governments rise and fall...
By JonnyDough on 5/29/2007 5:00:22 AM , Rating: 1
but human nature never changes. We need government, and every government is either a group of men that will ultimately fight amongst themselves, or a single man. They rise and fall, and the "democracy" (two party collaborative system) we see here in America is ultimately doomed as well. We are under a cencorship here as well, we just don't realize it. We are fed bullshit through the press time and again, and we believe in the democratic process and the high moral standards of a government that uses military power. Violence can only beget violence. You can not use a gun to stop a war, you can only become a part of it by doing this. The only peace a country will ever really have is when its enemies are dead. Only under a more well-thought out and WORLD government will man ever unite and attack ALL the major problems the world faces. Today, vast populations still die of aids while there is medicine to help them. Many people on earth don't have clean water, food, or refuge from weather. For these people (and we're talking MILLIONS) there is NO hope of ever getting an education, a sturdy house, or even a JOB. Those of us who OUGHT to feel guilty sitting at abundance of technological wealth (computers), able to express somewhat educated thoughts will never hope for a better tomorrow for the WORLD, because we're too busy dreaming about what will become of our own tiny little lives. If only the people of EARTH could band together under a doctorine of diversity, we might create a goverment that dignifies the right of EVERY individual, create a REAL world press, and every man, woman, and child could have some valid input upon the decisions made for MANKIND. I'm not calling for a democracy. I'm calling for unification, similar to democracy, but more broad like the UN, and not so damn United States controlled. The UN needs more involvement and more power. It's a start in the right direction, but the United States needs less say-so. People are afraid of change, we're afraid of being controlled and therefore are afraid to unite...but as Roosevelt stated, the only thing to fear is fear itself. We hold ourselves back more often than we are held back by someone else. We need to let go and reap all the benefits that could come from uniting under one government, and stop fearing what we would never allow. An ultimate dominating power. This is the information age, and we have far too many electronic devices and people with access to them to be censored anymore. When REAL news breaks, we have to put our faith in mankind that we will be brought the truth. Sure, governments lie...but when the power of speech is in the hands of the everyday person, then no world government could ever take control of the entire world without it's people allowing it to.




censor
By daidaloss on 5/20/07, Rating: -1
RE: censor
By Crowbar77 on 5/20/2007 2:29:24 PM , Rating: 3
Ouch, glad I don't live in Saudi Arabia.


RE: censor
By AraH on 5/20/2007 3:09:31 PM , Rating: 2
pissed off that i do... only one more year till i get out though...


RE: censor
By gersson on 5/20/2007 2:31:16 PM , Rating: 3
boo!
Freedom of speech and expression is a human right


RE: censor
By James Holden on 5/20/2007 2:35:38 PM , Rating: 1
Not according to the UN. Just because that's the way you have it in the US, doesn't mean its necissarily "correct" or should be imposed on the rest of the world.

Consumption of alcohol is illegal in Saudi Arabia as well. Is drinking booze a human right? Shoudl the US be going after the government of Saudi Arabia because it goes against the western way of life?


RE: censor
By plimogs on 5/20/2007 3:15:25 PM , Rating: 5
Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.


RE: censor
By jay401 on 5/20/2007 3:44:58 PM , Rating: 1
You missed the fine print: "Unless we disagree with your opinion, in which case we will label you a separatist and terminate you."

It's ironic how the concept of Human Rights has done more to take away freedoms than provide for them.


RE: censor
By Soviet Robot on 5/20/2007 6:49:53 PM , Rating: 2
Oh yeah? Where does it say that in the UN's declaration? quit talking out of your ass jimbo.


RE: censor
By Stele on 5/20/2007 9:09:51 PM , Rating: 6
sigh. Actually it wouldn't be wise to go shooting in the dark at him like that without some research of your own to be sure. The danger is that so many people only know bits and pieces of the UNDHR without knowing the entire content, which is important for setting everything in context.

For the purposes of this discussion, take for example Article 29(2):

quote:
In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.

Unless one is the simple type that is only able to understand things at face value, it would be quite easily seen here that the proviso in that Article does not restrict governments from defining what exactly constitutes "securing recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others" and "meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare". So if the government deems that your freedom to this or that are contrary to public order (the laws of sedition and internal security - including "protective custody" - are very useful and often used tools by the government where I live) then you're pretty much screwed.

Take also Article 30:

quote:
Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.

Again, a government may deem that one's actions constitute an "act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms" of the rest of society. For example, if a group organises protests or demonstrations, they could be branded as acting in a way that destroys the "right to life, liberty and security" (Article 3) of other members of society. Or, if one criticises (especially severely) members of the government, or their supporters, then one may be deemed to be depriving them from their right to be free from "interference with his privacy, [...] correspondence, [and] attacks upon his honour and reputation" (Art 12, which further provides that "[e]veryone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks").

In fact, the 'targets' of one's criticisms or demonstrations/protests could even turn around and accuse one of denying them of their "right to freedom of opinion and expression"... precisely the same provision in the same Article that one would've thought to be safe to rely on. In all the above cases, the authorities could therefore label you as seditious and with intention to incite disharmony and interfere with the rights and lives of other members of the society, and dealt with accordingly. The protection from this that one would have thought was provided on an initial reading of Article 30 would prove quite illusive indeed.

As such, while to the average Joe such a thing as the UNDHR would seem like a godsend, the document is really an interpretative minefield that people could use to screw an authoritarian government - or vice versa . It was created in the grandiose, idealistic and sweeping manner in much the same way the UN was, but this manner of drafting such a document stands up quite poorly against detailed, critical analysis and wily - even perverse - interpretations.


RE: censor
By oTAL on 5/21/2007 10:02:50 AM , Rating: 2
Can we have a 6 here, please?


RE: censor
By shecknoscopy on 5/20/2007 2:32:24 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
.i don't find that filtering porn is a bad thing


First they came for the barely-legal teens.
And I did not speak out
because I was not a barely-legal teen.


RE: censor
By SilthDraeth on 5/21/2007 10:00:14 AM , Rating: 2
Classic!


RE: censor
By Ringold on 5/21/2007 1:44:17 PM , Rating: 2
Classic indeed..

Because I liked it enough and I think it's pertinent to the topic.. I'll share the original for those less well-read..

When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.


RE: censor
By daidaloss on 5/20/07, Rating: -1
RE: censor
By daidaloss on 5/20/07, Rating: -1
RE: censor
By Treckin on 5/20/2007 11:25:56 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, for the record, if the us econ tanks, so does china.
It would be shortsighted to think otherwise... That is the major reason the US and Red China would never go to war... it would monetarily destroy each of us.
China is totally dependent on US exports, and the US is pecuniarely dependent on Chinese imports. Our fates are intertwined. One political scientist (Ill link if I can find it) theorizes that the major cause for modern Chinese liberalization is the ratio of Chinese who directly manufacture Western goods. China no longer lives in the Tienanmen Square era. Many provinces have even bowed to democratic practices


RE: censor
By Nfarce on 5/21/2007 9:20:40 AM , Rating: 4
[vent mode on]

First of all "dude," we Americans haven't run over other nations and put our values, culture, or ideas of what "we" think as a perfect society on others. Look at Japan and Germany and tell me if they are walking and talking English. Ditto for Kuwait.

Why do you people from other nations always show animosity towards America? Are you people jealous of us? There has to be a deep-rooted reason behind it. However, if you don't want America to be a strong presence in the world, them who DO you want that to be? Russia? China? The UN has already proved itself many times over to be essentially worthless in keeping peace worldwide (Iraq, Afghanistan, and Darfur for starters).

Regarding slavery, that was a wrong time in our history, but it was Africans who sold Africans too. You people out there seem to forget that. You also seem to forget that slavery is ALIVE AND WELL in other nations as I type this. Further, we treat our OWN prisoners better than just about any other nation out there. We bend over backwards for our prisoners to ensure their comfort and rights are heeded. Are you going to tell me China or Russia does that, or Saudi Arabia for that matter?

Finally, Guantanamo is a prison for FOREIGN ENEMY COMBATANTS . You bleeding hearts out there seem to forget the people in these prisons were CAPTURED during combat giving resistance to coalition troops (ie: SHOOTING at them). They wore no uniform representative of any nation, which renders them no protection either under the UN or under our US Constitution.

Some of you people out there (especially you kids who think you know everything at age 20) need to do more reading than just the front page of the New York Times or the BBC or Al Jazeera or the Prog.

[vent mode off]


RE: censor
By oTAL on 5/21/2007 10:47:57 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
First of all "dude," we Americans haven't run over other nations and put our values, culture, or ideas of what "we" think as a perfect society on others. Look at Japan and Germany and tell me if they are walking and talking English. Ditto for Kuwait.


The good times of intelligent people running the US ended when god started speaking to them. The current war in Iraq used the WMD excuse, and when that failed the reason given for the hole war was... "spreading American democratic values!"
Of course we all know that the war had mostly economic reasons, but the fact that Americans think that "spreading democracy" is a valid reason to invade a country against the will of the UN and the international community obviously invalidates your statement.

quote:
Why do you people from other nations always show animosity towards America? Are you people jealous of us? There has to be a deep-rooted reason behind it. However, if you don't want America to be a strong presence in the world, them who DO you want that to be? Russia? China? The UN has already proved itself many times over to be essentially worthless in keeping peace worldwide (Iraq, Afghanistan, and Darfur for starters).


Given those choices I definitely prefer the US (as long as my country isn't listed in that axis of evil thing). I just wish it was under a different, intelligent administration. I sure hope that the next administration can relinquish that political good will towards colleagues that kept Nixon from facing a judge. It would be nice seeing some of the current staff (including GWB) facing charges for, amongst other things, conspiring to lead the American people to war under a false pretext.
Going back to the initial question, I still believe the best scenario would have more of those famous "checks and balances"... Alliances of countries, like NATO and ONU, should have the most power instead of a single nation.

quote:
Regarding slavery, that was a wrong time in our history, but it was Africans who sold Africans too.


Actually most slaves were sold by Europeans, my country and Spain were top on the list of sellers. We would go into Africa, invade some villages, kill the weak and capture the strong. Then we would treat them far worst than you and I can imagine until the survivors were finally sold. You heard about the holocaust? It was longer and more cruel and people generally regarded it as normal (even the slaves)... Disgusting times...

quote:
We bend over backwards for our prisoners to ensure their comfort and rights are heeded. Are you going to tell me China or Russia does that, or Saudi Arabia for that matter?


If that's who you want to be compared to, then you win! But if you were to compare the American jails to most European jails you would find them violent and unsafe... And by European standards Guantanamo wouldn't even be considered a prison... even the current administration is considering the closure of that disgusting place. You should be embarrassed of it instead of arguing for its existence.

quote:
Some of you people out there (especially you kids who think you know everything at age 20) need to do more reading than just the front page of the New York Times or the BBC or Al Jazeera or the Prog.


You may have a point there... but for every one american that may have an incorrect bias because of one of the sources you mention, I'd bet there are over 100 with the opposite bias for watching too much Fox News. In Europe we were appalled to find out that, right after the 2004 elections, most of the people who voted for Bush did not know that there were no WMDs found in Iraq. Furthermore, a large percentage of those people believed that Saddam had directly ordered 9-11, when no link between him and Al-Qaeda was ever found. Top that for disinformation! Maybe Americans should watch more BBC and Al-Jazeera (they are both routinely accused of bias by both sides of the conflict...)!

Let all you "proud patriots" rain down on me...


RE: censor
By hubajube on 5/21/2007 11:38:30 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
Let all you "proud patriots" rain down on me...
You make some excellent points as does the poster before you. Interesting to think that the president COULD be brought up on charges but he will not be because he hasn't pissed off the Republican Party (well at least not all of them) and the American public is just bidding time until the elections. I voted for Bush the first term but after he and Congress voted to go into Iraq, my wife and I were shocked. We didn't vote for him the second time. I didn't understand why no one protested at the time but one of your comments explains it clearly...interesting but only Daily Show (a comedy show at that) was the only TV broadcast that saw what my wife and I saw. Going into Iraq had nothing to do with 9-11. Now we're off track and have an administration that's created a huge mess and put the Iraqi's in yet another predicament. There are no winners here (maybe eventually the Iraqi's) and even though I don't support bowing out too early, I really think that anytime within the next 5-10 years would be too early anyways. It's a pickle, no doubt.


RE: censor
By Lightning III on 5/22/2007 3:51:21 PM , Rating: 1

okay just so you all know why the us went into Iraq

1. to clear daddy's name (george bush senior didn't follow through according to the hawks )

2. to scrape up the mosaic of his daddy's face any time you walked into the main govt bldg in bahgdad

3. most of the hijackers came from saudi arabia who georges daddy works for as a consultant ( can you say bait and switch )

4. they needed someone with an actual army to invade so they could show off their cool tech toys

5. there never was an immenent threat their real excuse and by the way the aluminum tubes that can only be used for centerfuges this is a lie can you say kaytusha rocket


RE: censor
By Ringold on 5/22/2007 6:25:41 PM , Rating: 3
And Bush had the jets crash in to the WTC towers, dont forget that part too!


RE: censor
By Nfarce on 5/21/2007 1:47:50 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The good times of intelligent people running the US ended when god started speaking to them. The current war in Iraq used the WMD excuse, and when that failed the reason given for the hole war was... "spreading American democratic values!"


Bush is not making decisions on what "God" said to him anymore than Nancy Reagan helped to win the Cold War with astrology. We most certainly did go to war in Iraq of the premise that Saddam was in the process or soon to obtain WMDs. France said it, Germany said it, the UK said it, Hillary Clinton said it, Al Gore said it, the UN said it, and many others said it.

We also toppled and removed Saddam's regime (that WAS the original mission whether you wingnut liberals believe it or not) after he violated UN resolution after UN resolution from 1991 post Iraq War I through pre-Iraq War II in 2003 ( 17 of them to be exact).

Now I'll ask you a second time now since you didn't answer the first time: how have we spread OUR values on Japan, Germany, or Kuwait, or South Korea or currently Iraq for that matter? All of those nations we went to war over, and I'd hardly consider "democracy" as a legitimate argument for forcing our values on others because "democracy" for us may mean something totally different elsewhere.

quote:
It would be nice seeing some of the current staff (including GWB) facing charges for, amongst other things, conspiring to lead the American people to war under a false pretext.


Contrary to what you liberals think, the President of the United States cannot do anything on his own. He has to have support of Congress for any fiscal, legislative, or military action. In this case it was the backing of 80% of Democrats in the Senate for issuing Bush the authority to go to war. They saw the same intel Bush did, and that intel was gathered not only from US sources, but from foreign sources as well.

Resistance to our inteference in Iraq was met specifically by Russia and France (I suppose that's the "rest of the world" to you liberals) because they had back door deals with Saddam and the UN Oil For Food scandal (remember that?). In any event, there was no intentional deception by Bush or anyone else to " get that oil! " The same thing was said by you tinhat liberals in 1991 During Operation Desert Storm. The last time I checked, Kuwait is pumping their own oil and we are PURCHASING it from them. Regarding Iraq, the first oil contracts are going to India, China, and a few other Asian nations, not Halliburton.

quote:
Actually most slaves were sold by Europeans, my country and Spain were top on the list of sellers. We would go into Africa, invade some villages, kill the weak and capture the strong.


I'll repeat: slaves were sold to Europeans by African warlords. Sure Europeans pillaged on their own, but there were bad people in Africa too. That part doesn't get taught in today's schools. I wonder why? There still is slavery today in parts of the world (and the UN is doing what about it???).

quote:
If that's who you want to be compared to, then you win! But if you were to compare the American jails to most European jails you would find them violent and unsafe...


Actually I wouldn't compare EU jails to anything we have because the EU generally has more liberal laws than we do (pardons in the UK for assaults), drug use in Denmark). Our jails are overcrowded because society as a whole is going downhill. I blame it on the liberalization of America (wussification, if you will). We can't even spank our children anymore without being accused of child abuse. Since the 1960s America's liberal counter-culture has increased it's foothold on this nation. There's an old saying: "spare the rod, spoil the child." We reap what we sow.

quote:
And by European standards Guantanamo wouldn't even be considered a prison... even the current administration is considering the closure of that disgusting place. You should be embarrassed of it instead of arguing for its existence.


I said it before, and I'll say it again: the "people" in there are enemy combatants . They are not mothers and children picked up on the side of the road; they are not shopkeepers who were just trying to earn a living; they are not farmers. They are "people" who were caught in combat zones shooting at allied coalition forces. Further, if you think putting a bag over one's head or having a snapping German shepard bark at someone is "turture" I'd sure hate to see what you think of beheadings of Infidels.

quote:
You may have a point there... but for every one american that may have an incorrect bias because of one of the sources you mention, I'd bet there are over 100 with the opposite bias for watching too much Fox News.


You liberals always have to complain about Fox while totally ignoring leftist biases at ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, MSNBC, PBS, NPR...

quote:
No WMDs in Iraq...Furthermore, a large percentage of those people [Foxnews watchers] believed that Saddam had directly ordered 9-11, when no link between him and Al-Qaeda was ever found.


Yeah I heard that too. That was a "poll" only, and I trust any "poll" in this nation about as far as I could throw a Koran, ESPECIALLY if it's solely targeted at "Feux News" viewers (just go ahead and say it lib). Having said that, nowhere in the pre-Iraq invasion speech did Bush or Cheney make a DIRECT link to Saddam and 9/11. Indirect maybe by harboring terrorists, but not a direct link. We do know that now-dead Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was in Baghdad at least once prior to our invasion.

Regarding misinformation, I never trust any one media outlet. Period. Al Jazeera is agenda driven and will never report anything negative towards the Muslim world (contrast that to how the aforementioned media outlets slam and apologize for America at every turn). Now it's obvious you and I have two VERY different ideas for what America should be and should stand for. That said, I'm glad people who think like you were not in charge during World War II. We are in the middle of yet another World War, albeit a different one. Either history will label Bush a failure (like Jimmy Carter is) or it will label him ahead of his time and we should have listened to him, unlike the anti-war Nazi pacifists in Europe and America said NO WAR! to FDR in 1939.


RE: censor
By cocoman on 5/21/2007 2:45:24 PM , Rating: 2
I didn´t even finish reading your comment, becouse in the first paragraph you are already misinformed. France and Germany did not aprove the war on Irak. Actually they with Russia formed the group that was against the US, GB and Spain on invading Irak. And because of that GWB named them the old Europe with the old ideas.


RE: censor
By Nfarce on 5/21/2007 4:07:11 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
becouse in the first paragraph you are already misinformed. France and Germany did not aprove the war on Irak.


Read much?

Actually if you go back and re-read my post, you'll see that I said France and Germany said Saddam was possibly obtaining WMDs (this was back towards the end of the Clinton years, when the ramp up to removing Saddam actually started). NOWHERE did I say that France & Germany approved of the war, which is PRECISELY why I said they were against it because they had their hands in the Oil For Food UN scandal.

Thanks for proving my point about not getting past headlines.


RE: censor
By Lightning III on 5/22/2007 4:06:29 PM , Rating: 1
obtaining in his dreams and it was no doubt a feverent wish

cheney told the american people it was an immenent threat

germany and france said it wasn't

there is the differance between fox spin and the truth


RE: censor
By Ringold on 5/21/2007 5:36:20 PM , Rating: 2
Two points.

1. Your last few lines are interesting in who they bring up; the European pre-WW2 pacifists who allowed Germany the time it needed to build up the steam necessary to obliterate Europe, North Africa and part of Asia before America turned the tide and saved them from their own mistakes. It's interesting because current politicians, both lefty Republicans and many Democrats and most all European politicians, have almost identical language and identical theories. They seem to believe, for example, that war can be averted via discussions and compromises and that military power helps precipitate conflict -- therefore, Europe and Canada has largely unilaterally disarmed. This approach has failed throughout history and perhaps if liberals would read a little history they'd know as much.

2. You didn't attack his ignorant statement that economics was supposedly behind the Iraq invasion!! How much revenue has America extracted from Iraq? Lets see -- none. How much has it spent? Probably a trillion once the whole thing is done with. Oh, it's all about the oil, the liberals say? You mean, the oil that Iraq sells on international largely electronic commodity exchanges where buyers don't even know who the sellers are 'cause everybody just plain buys oil? Ask a liberal to explain how America could possibly, in today's globalized and transparent commodities markets, extract oil from Iraq. They'll either change the subject, lie, or just look plain dumb. Possibly all three.


RE: censor
By oTAL on 5/22/2007 9:48:16 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
You didn't attack his ignorant statement that economics was supposedly behind the Iraq invasion!! How much revenue has America extracted from Iraq? Lets see -- none. How much has it spent? Probably a trillion once the whole thing is done with. Oh, it's all about the oil, the liberals say? You mean, the oil that Iraq sells on international largely electronic commodity exchanges where buyers don't even know who the sellers are 'cause everybody just plain buys oil? Ask a liberal to explain how America could possibly, in today's globalized and transparent commodities markets, extract oil from Iraq. They'll either change the subject, lie, or just look plain dumb. Possibly all three.


I'll explain it to you. When you own a commodity, like oil, the market regulates the prices mostly by itself. Still, you can influence it in a number of ways. I do not know if you noticed, but the war in Iraq has slightly increased the price of oil (the slightly was ironic).
That was an expected outcome. Guess who wins? Oil companies. Guess who has lots of oil connections and oil friends? GWB!
The war may not have been profitable to the US as a country, but it was DAMN profitable to some people.


RE: censor
By Rad T on 5/21/2007 9:32:53 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
We most certainly did go to war in Iraq of the premise that Saddam was in the process or soon to obtain WMDs. France said it, Germany said it, the UK said it, Hillary Clinton said it, Al Gore said it, the UN said it, and many others said it.


Did they all also tell us to go to war over it? Right then?

quote:
In any event, there was no intentional deception by Bush or anyone else to " get that oil! "


How do we know? Because there was not. I see. Frankly I sure hope they believed it was also about oil, because to go there over non-existent WMDs and replacing regimes with non-functioning ones is one colossal waste of taxpayers money, not to mention the lives of our troops and the innocent Iraqis.

quote:
I'll repeat: slaves were sold to Europeans by African warlords. Sure Europeans pillaged on their own, but there were bad people in Africa too. That part doesn't get taught in today's schools. I wonder why? There still is slavery today in parts of the world (and the UN is doing what about it???).


So it was OK for us to buy and keep the and their children too. Would you like to buy yourself a slave today?

quote:
Actually I wouldn't compare EU jails to anything we have because the EU generally has more liberal laws than we do (pardons in the UK for assaults), drug use in Denmark).


And yet they probably have fewer assaults per capita.

quote:
You liberals always have to complain about Fox while totally ignoring leftist biases at ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, MSNBC, PBS, NPR...


I think everyone has a bias relative to everyone else. I am happy that the prevailing bias is not that of Fox News.


RE: censor
By Lightning III on 5/22/2007 4:03:10 PM , Rating: 2

cheney did


RE: censor
By LogicallyGenius on 5/21/2007 11:18:41 AM , Rating: 1
Now let me tell u something buthead , if u r an american, then get the hell out of here


RE: censor
By Nfarce on 5/21/2007 12:51:13 PM , Rating: 2
Did you say something Beavis?

Kids.


RE: censor
By Treckin on 5/21/2007 12:51:45 PM , Rating: 1
Wow... that was a morally tolerant comment... I would almost assume it came from an American (of which I am one)

I would have to point out the fallacy of your argument against the usefulness of the UN...

There failure to maintain peace in Iraq and Afghanistan (Possibly the two WORST examples you possibly could have used) was directly due to the total defiance of the UNITED STATES to follow the non-intervention orders... In Darfur, the major problem is an utter lack of support from abroad. People just don't care about Blacks killing blacks, and care even less about their starvation (ex Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia, Congolese, south Africa, ad infinitum)
The problems plaguing the UN are the same (AS ANY 20 YEAR OLD POLYSCI STUDENT COULD TELL YOU) as those faces by the early United States under the Articles of Confederation; there is no central authority, no power to raise money, no power to raise an army (very similar here, the articles relied on each States Militia, while the UN relies on the independent armies of each member nation), and each state could override any order or directive with no consequence.
The US is the main perpetrator in this light in the United Nations...
I find it amusing that you seem to think that the 'detainees' (a vomitous euphemism, to say the least)are all combatants... there are currently 475 confirmed inmates there. 165 are US citizens, held without charges since 9/11, denied all of their constitutional rights (speedy trial, right to confront accusers, know the charges brought against oneself,etc). Benjamin Franklin once said (i wrote it above, but ill write it again) ANY COUNTRY THE WOULD GIVE UP A LITTLE LIBERTY FOR A LITTLE SECURITY WILL RECEIVE NEITHER, AND LOOSE BOTH.

BTW, why don't you just go torture small animals or something? At least go get a college education...


RE: censor
By Nfarce on 5/21/2007 4:32:25 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
There failure to maintain peace in Iraq and Afghanistan (Possibly the two WORST examples you possibly could have used) was directly due to the total defiance of the UNITED STATES to follow the non-intervention orders...


Then tell me why the UN allowed Saddam's Iraq to violate 17 UN resolutions over a period of 12 years. The UN was going to do nothing, and they were thrown out and prohibited from certain areas during inspections, giving Saddam a generous lead time to do whatever he wanted to do with his weapons cache (he used them on the Kurds, so we KNOW he had them).

quote:
In Darfur, the major problem is an utter lack of support from abroad. People just don't care about Blacks killing blacks, and care even less about their starvation (ex Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia, Congolese, south Africa, ad infinitum)


Yeah and those BILLIONS America spends on AIDS research for African nations is just a pipe dream of non-caring, right? We cared enough to go into Somalia in 1993, didn't we? Sheesh.

quote:
I find it amusing that you seem to think that the 'detainees' (a vomitous euphemism, to say the least)are all combatants... there are currently 475 confirmed inmates there. 165 are US citizens, held without charges since 9/11, denied all of their constitutional rights (speedy trial, right to confront accusers, know the charges brought against oneself,etc).


Yeah, many of which were planning attacks on US soil. We just caught FOUR that were ILLEGALLY HERE that were going to attack a military base a few weeks ago. I know it's hard for you people on the left to understand that there is a REAL THREAT out there for not only America, but the ENTIRE WESTERN CIVILIZATION, but that's called the real world. You people just want to forget that 3,000 Americans died, OR that it was our fault because we had bases in the ME. Sooner or later that reality is going to set in for you people, and it may just have to take a nuke leveling one of our cities by islamofascist thugs before you people wake the HELL UP.

quote:
ANY COUNTRY THE WOULD GIVE UP A LITTLE LIBERTY FOR A LITTLE SECURITY WILL RECEIVE NEITHER, AND LOOSE BOTH.


I don't disagree with that one bit. None of MY liberties have been given up. I've got the same freedoms today as I did when your hero Bill Clinton was in office (I'm also better off financially than the "greatest economic period in history," but that's another topic). Now, I never planned on attacking America then or now, so I cannot say for certain that any "liberties" of that nature has been jeopardized. As for any others that are in Gitmo that are NOT enemy combatants, let's give the Democrats a chance to jump in there and get the ball rolling. Amazingly, they haven't mentioned much about that lately, and they CONTROL congress. Do you care to know why?


RE: censor
By KristopherKubicki (blog) on 5/21/2007 6:39:13 PM , Rating: 2
The quote is actually "Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety deserve neither Liberty nor Safety" and actually the direct attribution is a little hazy too. Interesting research on the topic here:

http://www.futureofthebook.com/stories/storyReader$605
(copy and paste the URL it's not parsing right)


RE: censor
By Lightning III on 5/22/2007 7:58:55 PM , Rating: 2
yup to bad china will be so poisoned by industrial waste by then it will be unliveable


Jesus... are you kidding me?
By Treckin on 5/20/07, Rating: -1
RE: Jesus... are you kidding me?
By Stele on 5/20/2007 11:31:06 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
the US constitution is the oldest constitution in the world (please don’t contest this fact, you would only make yourself look naïve and immature), and is additionally the basis for almost every new democratic state from then on.


Your knowledge of constitutional history is demonstrably US-centric, and unfortunately is limited to that area. The earliest forms of a 'constitution' (a document defining the fundamental political principles, and establishing the structure, procedures, powers and duties, of a government) can be traced back to the earliest human civilisations c.2000BC in the Mesopotamian region, in Sumeria iirc, although they were not called 'constitutions' by said civilisations.

About 1500 years later, Athens acquired the Solonian Constitution, with philosophers such as Aristotle appearing shortly thereafter establishing formal ideas of constitution and constitutionalism, and attempting to classify different forms of constitutional government in his works "Constitution of Athens" and "Nicomachean Ethics". Throughout the subsequent 2000 years or so, numerous civilisations and governments have adopted various constitutions in various forms - mostly written but some, notably that of the United Kingdom - remain largely unwritten.

Furthermore, the US constitution drew largely from the influence of the constitutional system of the UK and of legal philosophers in Europe such as Montesquieu (of de l'Esprit des Lois) and John Locke (of the "social contract"). On top of all that, "democracy" isn't even a US invention - the concept comes from Ancient Greece, and all democratic systems - including that of the US - derive from it, not the other way around.

Indeed, recognition of civil liberties does not automatically equate to democracy as you suggest. Democracy entails rule by majority. If the majority feels that your rights or freedoms should be removed, what say have you? What happens to your liberties and freedom? The framers of the US Constitution were actually quite aware of this danger of outright democracy - the oppression of the individual's rights by the power of the majority. Hence the framers created a constitution which tried to embody the best of both worlds - the power of the people to have a say in their government via democracy, but with protections for individual liberty, a separation of powers, and a layered federal structure to prevent the "inalienable rights" (deemed to be those granted by nature, not humans, and hence cannot be surrendered or taken away) of citizens from abuses of power by the government, even if taken by majority rule. Hence the framers produced a constitution which is probably closer to a 'moderated democracy' than a totally free one.

All in all, the US constitution has the distinction of being one of the oldest modern, codified constitutions in the world, but such a qualification certainly puts the distinction in a narrower context than and is quite different from "the oldest constitution in the world". As such, your bare assertion as quoted above is terribly inaccurate, which unfortunately brings into question who exactly your rather arrogant threat should be directed at.


RE: Jesus... are you kidding me?
By EODetroit on 5/21/2007 3:30:15 PM , Rating: 2
Actually democracy was invented on Kobal, before the human race left that cursed planet to form the 12 colonies, plus a secret 13th colony that populated the earth to hide from the Cylons. All this happened before, it will all happen again.


RE: Jesus... are you kidding me?
By wrekd on 5/21/2007 3:43:40 PM , Rating: 2
frack'n-A buddy!


RE: Jesus... are you kidding me?
By kiwik on 5/21/2007 3:48:30 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Any shift in governmental power does in fact ‘reset the time clock’ of that nations existence.

So, by using your logic, over it's 2200 years of existence, the Roman civilisation would have been more than 200 countries. You would have to take every emperor assassination, every separation and governement transitions from monarchy to republic to empire.

I would like to have history classes with you as my teacher.


RE: Jesus... are you kidding me?
By Treckin on 5/21/2007 12:54:58 PM , Rating: 2
yes. when a government switched from a monarchy to a republic, or parliament, then yes.

no, if a leader is assassinated, it does not reset the proverbial clock... when Lincoln was assassinated, was there a new country born?
But when the Bolsheviks slaughter the Romanov's, that was a resetting of the clock to be sure...
Cummon, use ur common sense!


RE: Jesus... are you kidding me?
By Stele on 5/21/2007 5:31:08 AM , Rating: 6
I fear that almost every point you've put forward as some historical 'fact' is in danger of being demolished in detail.

quote:
China was established in its current form by the Maoist movement in the early 1950’s (earmarked by their involvement in the US/Korean war)

If by "current form" you mean China's government as it is today, no, China was established on 1 October 1949 following the defeat of the Nationalists by the Communists under Mao and the subsequent proclamation of the formation of the People's Republic of China. Their involvement in the Korean war was not a cause of China's formation; in fact, it was a result of China's establishment as a Communist state that led to its involvement in that war, distrusting the US' intentions after defeating North Korea (it was an open secret at that time that members of the US administration and military staff were considering the possibility of an incursion into China to nip the growing international Communist movement in the bud).

quote:
France has been around for 1600 years, however its revolution in the early 19th century ‘reset the clock’.

France's existence as a separate entity is generally held to have begun from the Treaty of Verdun in 843, when the Holy Roman Empire was broken up and divided amongst the three grandsons of Charlemagne. The western portion eventually became the basis of future France. As of 2007, therefore, the oldest France could be would be around 1160 years... 1600 years ago there was but a smattering of Goths, Vandals and Burgundians amongst others, as well as the now-crumbling Roman Empire.

quote:
Any shift in governmental power does in fact ‘reset the time clock’ of that nations existence.

While kiwik has already commented somewhat on your 'resetting the clock' argument, I'm unable to see a persuasive logic behind that argument in the first place; a country may undergo a large number of "shifts in governmental power", some large while others small; if the Democrats wrest the presidency and Congress from the Republicans (or vice versa), would that be a "shift in governmental power", "resetting the time clock"? If so, the US is but a decade old.

quote:
In fact, one of the oldest nations besides Vatican City is England. Some put the modern establishment if the country at 1215, at the signing of that Magna Carta, however the general consensus among historians is rather the governmental shift in 1488 that inserted a Prime Minister into the equation.

One of the sources of your troubles is your loose definition of "nation". Strictly speaking, a nation is a 'set of people with a common identity who have formed a nation-state or usually aspire to do so' (Viotti and Kauppi, 2001). It would imply the existence of a group of people of common ethnicity, language, religion and perhaps history. What we sometimes call 'nations' are often more accurately 'states' or 'countries' (the last being something of a mix between the first two). The Vatican City, then, is not a 'nation' - it is a state. Worse, it is not even the oldest nation/state by any measure - it was only created in 1929. If you want to include its predecessor Papal States (which would then be contradicting your argument about 'resetting the clock'), those date back to about 750AD - again, not anywhere near the mark of oldest state.

Even in this context, England was not established in 1215. Instead, it was already a unified state - the Kingdom of England - courtesy of the Angles under Alfred the Great. The defining moment that forever changed the direction and politics of England - and hence the starting point of the "modern establishment" of England which you speak of - would be the Norman conquest of 1066. Thereafter, the administrative (including the monarchical style), judicial, cultural and even language of England would be modelled on the Norman system, developing to what it is today. The Magna Carta was not by any measure important in the history of the existence of England - rather, it was an important influence on the historical process which developed into what we now consider constitutional law. Being commonly misunderstood, the Magna Carta did little in limiting the power of the king or revamping the form or organisation of the the Kingdom of England. In fact, by the 19th century all but 3 of the original clauses had been repealed.

There was no "governmental shift" in 1488 - which is just three years into the reign of Henry VII. Furthermore, the post of prime minister was not 'inserted' into the UK government or 'equation'. In fact, while there was usually the most important government official - including the Lord Chancellor - the official whose duties which we would today consider as those of a 'prime minister' only evolved in the 17th-18th century in the aftermath of the English Civil War. The first person to hold these duties is normally considered to have been Sir Robert Walpole in the mid-18th centry. Yet the British government was not eager to formally create such a post because, perhaps contrary to what we would think today, the sentiment at the time was against such a single, powerful and "unconstitutional" post.

So much so, in fact, that the first time that the term "Prime Minister" was officially used in government was only during the tenure of Benjamin Disraeli in the mid-18th century, and even then the position of Prime Minister was only officially recognised by the Ministers of the Crown Act in 1937 - which provided for a salary to "the First Lord of the Treasury and Prime Minister". In short, the office of 'prime minister' was never 'inserted' into the UK government; it grew throughout its history, first acquiring the duties, then the name, and finally the official recognition as a post.

Well then...without the benefit of a more accurate historical background than the one you've presented, it is now not easy to figure out what your point is/was... hence it might be helpful in future to read up a little more before posting, especially on settled historical facts.:)


RE: Jesus... are you kidding me?
By Treckin on 5/21/2007 2:41:33 PM , Rating: 2
Your are correct, I confused the French/Spanish overthrowing the Moors... I huge error on my part. I was referring to this as the time period which was not reset for France until the French revolution in the early 19th century
In any case,the point I was making about the governmental 'time clock' is as you described it. A major shift in the insert governmental document here is what I was referring to. The example I used, although admittedly flawed, of the British admitting a prime-ministerial check on the previously omnipotent Monarch, being such a change. For an Analogy:
If next year, the US Congress decide to do away with the presidency (or even to minimalize him), redraft the Constitution as to combine the entire House and Senate, and establish a Prime Minister elected by them. I would consider this a new nation. Further, this is why distinctly contemporary German history is divided into Reich's - Hitler abolishing the parliament constitutes a shift for me...

Anyhow, I appreciate the education you proffered... Im not of the stickler internet prepubescent boy type, and thoroughly enjoy the conversation/information. I have far out-stepped my area of study and interest (being modern politics) and do respect the corrections on your part.


RE: Jesus... are you kidding me?
By EODetroit on 5/21/2007 3:39:18 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think even that should be considered a "new nation"... since it would be done according to the rules of law. As long as the constitution was constitutionally changed, no new nation, in other words. I think "new nation" should apply when the rule of law wasn't used and a new ruler or ruling class was put into place by force.


RE: Jesus... are you kidding me?
By Treckin on 5/21/2007 5:13:31 PM , Rating: 2
Like the election of 2000? ROFL


RE: Jesus... are you kidding me?
By Ringold on 5/21/2007 5:49:31 PM , Rating: 2
Wow.

If you think that's the first election with voter fraud, you're pretty damn naive. It happens every time, all over the country, in a systematic fashion that includes both legal means (redistricting inbetween census reports, not requiring proof of citizenship in liberal areas) and illegal ones (votes from the grave, voting multiple times, etc). In fact, many areas of the country (liberal ones oddly enough! Chicago and NYC) have long, colorful histories in part defined by their blatant voter fraud.

In the grand scheme of things, the 2000 Presidential election operated smoothly and came to a legal conclusion in precisely the manner that the constitution and founding fathers prescribed. It wasn't the popular vote, but then, the electoral college exists for very good reason (for the same good reasons we once didn't vote directly for our senators).

To top it off, the country in 2004 had an opportunity to, once again, elect Bush or to throw him out of office. The country decisively handed him both the electoral college AND the irrelevant popular vote.

You can either drop it and accept reality (which after 7 years may be difficult) or admit you only give a shit about the whole 'democracy' line when the mob rule agrees with your personal opinions.


RE: Jesus... are you kidding me?
By Treckin on 5/22/2007 12:57:34 AM , Rating: 2
Um... you're an idiot. Not only did u fail to see the sarcasm in my comment, you over analyzed the shit out of the 6 words I said.
For the record, the dark election history in Chicago was centered around the Mayoral elections, namely the Daily Dynasty. Also, voter fraud is neither a liberal or conservative issue, and tends to be more common in puppet governments than the US.
ALSO...
where does it way that an election, in the event of controversy of tie, is rectified in the supreme court (of all places! The Constitution says nothing like this in article 3). Most famously, in the election of 1800 between Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton, an actual tie (true, do the the wacky experimental EC that year, where each Elector had 2 votes), was decided in the HOR, as is described in ARTICLE 1 of the US constitution.

PS- earlier when I said the US constitution is the oldest, I was using the term perhaps too loosely; It is the longest standing. Obviously not the first constitution. In American History, that would be the Mayflower Compact.


RE: Jesus... are you kidding me?
By Treckin on 5/22/2007 12:05:10 PM , Rating: 2
whoops, I misstated. It was between Jefferson and Aaron Burr. Hamilton was born in the Bahama's, and thus not eligible for Presidency. He was the Secretary of the treasury, though, and also the reason Jefferson was elected. This was the main reason that Aaron Burr later challenged him to a dual, in which Hamilton was fatally injured.


RE: Jesus... are you kidding me?
By Ringold on 5/22/2007 6:32:39 PM , Rating: 1
Well, if it was sarcasm, we're on the same page then anyway :P

I don't refute anything you said inparticular, though I'd imagine that had the House taken care of it the ultimate outcome would've been the same. They've recounted the shit out of the votes in Florida and it *usually* came out for Bush.. same outcome, different (admittedly more legitimate sounding) path.

Didn't know that about Hamilton, either -- the Bahamas part.


RE: Jesus... are you kidding me?
By Lightning III on 5/22/2007 4:18:35 PM , Rating: 2

yea but they eventually wised up and your sucking pond water now

you and the moron majority

because its okay to kill a hundred thousand muslim's

but threaten a lump of cells that hasen't decided to be a boy a girl or both and you'll start to froth at the mouth

the real question is will we see impeachment procedures before the next presidential election

novembers comming up for another shift

];P>


RE: Jesus... are you kidding me?
By Ringold on 5/22/2007 6:43:10 PM , Rating: 2
Who wised up? NYC and Chicago? Chicago's current mayor is just as corrupt as past ones (made evident to me first as a pilot when I heard how he handled a local airport -- democracy be damned, send in the bulldozers!), and how did NYC get turned around? Oh, that's right, by a leading Republican candidate. :P

Don't care about muslims in other countries myself, no. Also nice to see you pigeon hole all Republican's as being pro-life. It doesn't bother me so much early on, but recently a baby was delivered at just 22 weeks and did fine. Obviously something significantly before 22 weeks of pregnancy ought to count as murder. Unlike close minded ones like you, however, I'm still pondering it and havent come to a personal opinion yet.

And you're right, November is coming up again! Big elections we'll be having! Trolling European, or just don't know your own countries election schedule? And your Democrat congress? It has lower poll ratings than Bush does himself! And the promise to change things? The only piece of legislation to be placed on the president's desk was a pork-filled unpopular war funding bill -- nothing else they've talked about or voted on has been finalized, despite vacations.

So yes, Nov of 08 will be interesting indeed; if the Dem's keep up the good work, they'll hand it right to the Republicans.


By Lightning III on 5/22/2007 4:00:06 PM , Rating: 1
england gets their reset w/ oliver cromwell


By Lightning III on 5/22/2007 4:10:37 PM , Rating: 1

and your france assertion only works if they change the name to gaul


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