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Bill Could Restrict Freedom of the Press 747

Posted by Zonk
from the who-needs-news? dept.
WerewolfOfVulcan writes "The Washington Post is carrying an article about a disturbing Senate bill that could make it illegal to publicly disclose even the existence of US domestic spying programs (i.e. NSA wiretaps)." An aide to the bill's author assures us it's not aimed at reporters, but the language is ambiguous at best. From the article: "Kate Martin, director of the Center for National Security Studies, said the measure is broader than any existing laws. She said, for example, the language does not specify that the information has to be harmful to national security or classified. 'The bill would make it a crime to tell the American people that the president is breaking the law, and the bill could make it a crime for the newspapers to publish that fact,' said Martin, a civil liberties advocate."
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Bill Could Restrict Freedom of the Press

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  • by David Hume (200499) on Monday March 13, 2006 @03:48AM (#14905684) Homepage
    FTFA:
    "It in no way applies to reporters _ in any way, shape or form," said Mike Dawson, a senior policy adviser to DeWine, responding to an inquiry Friday afternoon. "If a technical fix is necessary, it will be made."
    It looks like the critics may , as a matter of (good) tactics, jumping on the preliminary language of the preliminary draft of poorly drafted bill.

    Would people object if it was limited to leakers? If it excluded reporters, including blogger?
  • by eric76 (679787) on Monday March 13, 2006 @03:48AM (#14905686)
    it would be shot down SO fast by the courts that it would make their heads spin

    Or they could arrest people, hold them in jail for a while, charge them, and then before the courts can make a decision, drop charges and let them go with stern warnings.

    That way, the courts don't get a chance to shut them down since they have to have a real dispute, but the administration can use it to silence opponents.

  • Re:Welcome... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by anagama (611277) <obamaisaneocon@nothingchanged.org> on Monday March 13, 2006 @03:51AM (#14905693) Homepage
    In Soviet America, the news watches you. ...or... Information wants to be jailed. ...hmmm not so good .. others?
  • by Bushido Hacks (788211) on Monday March 13, 2006 @03:52AM (#14905695) Homepage Journal
    "...except some are more equal than others." --George Orwell, Animal Farm

    I suppose the next thing the will want to do is confescate all of our "controband" and "propganda".

    If this is the future of America then I suggest a scishim and a sucession from the Imperial American Empire! Save the REAL United States of America from the New World Order.
  • by jabbo (860) <jabbo@y a h o o .com> on Monday March 13, 2006 @04:27AM (#14905805)
    All the rest are cowering sycophants who place politics far, far ahead of principles. They may twist in the wind for all that I care, and for all that they care about their constituent's liberties.

    Feingold, however, is the Eliot Spitzer of the halls of Congress. The guy should run for Emperor, errr Potentate, errr... what's Bush's title today?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 13, 2006 @04:28AM (#14905808)
    I'd rather have the press required to provide footnotes and references for their articles. IMHO, there's too much bullshit being made up by lazy reporters.
  • by Shihar (153932) on Monday March 13, 2006 @04:30AM (#14905814)
    First, this proposed law will get shot pretty much instantly by the courts should it pass the senate (which it wont). This proposed law pretty much pisses on the first amendment, something that should be clear to senate, and something that is certainly clear to the courts. I really am not the least bit worried.

    That said, I think that this law inspires me to want a law of my own. Let's call my new law the "three strikes, now stop fucking with the constitution" law. Any congressman that votes for three laws that are later over turned on the grounds of it being unconstitutional should have their seat revoked for their absolute and utter incompetence in upholding the constitution of the United States.

    These worthless fuckers have sworn an oath to the constitution, and it really fucking pisses me off when they promptly turn around and drop one of these shit for laws. Not only does it piss me off that they are so incompetent as to not see the clear violation of the constitution that they are proposing, but it also pisses me off that my tax money has to be pissed away overturning these steaming piles of shit.

    Would a "three strikes, now STFU and stop messing with the constitution law" be great? Sure. It won't happen, so let's do the next best thing. STOP VOTING FOR THESE DUMB FUCKER. I am not sure who to be more pissed off at, the spineless incompetent politicians that seem to think that upholding the constitution is optional, or the worthless and lazy voters that blindly support their parties candidate and vote for these dumb fucker.

    Bah. This crap will be shot down. Thankfully, the court system still mostly works and takes its responsibility to the constitution seriously. It still pisses me off though that it even needs to go that far.
  • Re:Yeah whatever (Score:5, Interesting)

    by The Master Control P (655590) <<ejkeever> <at> <nerdshack.com>> on Monday March 13, 2006 @04:34AM (#14905825)
    How's that cliche go?

    If supporters of a bill, when confronted with an egregious abuse it would permit, dismiss the concerns as purely hypothetical, they are lying. They intend to use such a law exactly that way as early and often as possible.
  • Re:fuck (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 13, 2006 @04:48AM (#14905862)
    Small arms won't help much to defeat tyranny nowadays. When we discussed the possibility of a modern American revolution, my dad always used to say that we won't need guns, we can all just head for D.C. and park our cars in the middle of the roads.

    I think he might have had a point. Opressive bureaucracy can easily be clogged up and rendered ineffective by the populace if the people simply ignore or indeed flaunt rampant disobedience of unjust, silly laws. Like copying DVDs and music, or whatever.

    I agree, this November is when we throw these bastards out and take back some power. In the meantime, fuck the current U.S. copyright and patent regime. And fuck the inept crooked corrupt lawbreaking current president. I can't wait until he's impeached LEGALLY by our ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES, according to law. BTW, this week I watched several PIRATED DVDs downloaded via the evil BITTORRENT protocol and I might buy the ones I liked. Come and get me motherfuckers. I'm gonna vote against all the undesirable incumbents in November (Santorum in particular has got to go) and I'll be speaking out against you in the meantime, trying to swing others' votes. The current regime is history come Tuesday this November.

  • by Shihar (153932) on Monday March 13, 2006 @04:54AM (#14905886)
    You see, not only is this the "land of the free", much to the surprise and horror of tyrants everywhere, it is also "land of the lawyers and civil societies" who love nothing more then a good old fashion 1st amendment smack down.

    This law will not make it out of committee.

    This law will not make it through the House.

    This law will make it to the president's desk.

    Should this law actually somehow become law, it absolutely will contested and struck down by the courts.
  • by dynamo52 (890601) on Monday March 13, 2006 @06:07AM (#14906088)

    You make some interesting arguments and while I don't completely disagree, I'm not totally convinced GW won in 2004. Ohio still looks awfully fishy to me. When was the last time you have seen exit polls so out of line with official results? And none of it auditable? We all know about Diebold.

    Yes, far too many Americans voted out of ignorance and fear, and are reaping their rewards, but the process was corrupted

  • by publius_jr (808330) on Monday March 13, 2006 @06:54AM (#14906191)
    That's funny. I believe that most of those buildings were designed to withstand such impacts and heat and not fall, inwards or at all, should something like that occur.

    Memo to demolition companies: Due to technologies designed no later than 1973 your work will only be needed for pre-1973 buildings. We can cleanly demolish modern buildings with jet fuel and a match.

  • Maybe why you do... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Onan (25162) on Monday March 13, 2006 @07:07AM (#14906215)
    Perhaps these are the reasons that you want the citizenry to arm themselves. However, it seems fairly clear that the authors of the Bill of Rights were very much aware of the importance of allowing for the violent overthrow of government, and that this right was intended to allow that to remain possible.

    So while your interpretation is the one unsurprisingly advocated by members of the government, I think it's completely unrelated to the intents of the framers.

    Shooting burglars should be criminal vigilanteism. Shooting any government official or law-enforcement officer should be a Constitutionally-protected right.

  • Never Work (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 13, 2006 @07:08AM (#14906216)
    Normally, a leak is one or two people who are talking or selling. They could be doing it for any number of reasons. The problem is, that there is a large number of people talking about what is going on. That shows that this is a revolt against current admin leadership.

    Consider the fact that Bush is trying to pass a law that prevents employees/troops from outing information damaging to the war effort(or him), while at the same time, he, cheney, and libbey were more than happy to out a CIA agent to the enemy for political gain. We are not talking that they did it to stop an illegal action. OTH, there are number of people who are talking about what is going on inside, but they are only touching the tip of the iceberg. People like trainor, wallace, edmunds, tice, robbins, smith are but a few that object to what is happening and are reporting it. Even in the white house they have a fair number of people who have come out against this admin and are talking about what is wrong with it; That is not normal during a war as short as this one.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 13, 2006 @07:12AM (#14906227)
    Even if we can keep leaked information out of the papers and off the TV, it'll still find its way into the hands of our enemies. Stop the leaks, not the nosy reporters.


    It seems that due to budget overruns and concern over too many expenditures, the Government has decided upon the much cheaper and efficient process of simply imprisoning anyone that even hints at leaking information. Competent Intelligence Agencies are just too expensive, it seems.

    Say, didn't someone located in the Whitehouse recently out an Intelligence operative through a public leak for political reasons?

    Maybe that law wouldn't be such a bad thing, after all.
  • by ELiTeUI (591102) on Monday March 13, 2006 @07:15AM (#14906233)
    If this proposed law were already on the books, would it put Dick Cheney in jail for exposing one of our CIA agents (in the valerie plame fiasco)?

  • Eventually... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by tomstdenis (446163) <tomstdenis@@@gmail...com> on Monday March 13, 2006 @07:20AM (#14906244) Homepage
    You'll get to the point where the conservatives won't be pointing out "stop worrying you hippie liberal douche" because you won't have the right to discuss politics in public.

    I'll go out on a limb and say this law won't pass.

    But I'll point out another fact my friends from back home used to say. You have the government you deserve. You recalled Gray Davis just to hire a movie star as your governor, why not recall Bush to hold a new election? It worked in Canada :-)

    Fact of that matter is this time around if you're american *you did* vote for Bush. Even knowing what sort of assclown he is. Sure John Kerry wasn't much of a choice either but what about all the independents? Despite what CNN says you're not in a bipartisan country. It is *legal* to have a third, fourth and even fifth option on the ballet.

    If enough people stole seats from the "holy bestowed party of two" they wouldn't get away with these sorts of laws and lobbying activity. But no, you guys take the easy road, do zero investigation and don't question anything.

    Oh and another thing I have to say to Americans. You really should learn at least one Chinese dialect in the next 5 or so years. With the raising of your deficit it just means less and less of America actually belongs to Americans [well the USA at least]. Canada on the other hand is in relatively good hands.

    Canada is certainly not perfect and Harper has yet to make the news for something really positive but at least I know all 14 spies we have aren't pointed at me.

    Tom
  • Re:fuck (Score:5, Interesting)

    by forgotten_my_nick (802929) on Monday March 13, 2006 @08:09AM (#14906411)
    >Most of the people causing the trouble down there are trained terrorists,

    Actually most of the people causing trouble are ex-military, disenfranchised civilians and those who have lost out on the regime change to the point where it is better to fight. TBH actual terrorists like AQ would make a small percentage of that.

    >The civilians are the ones getting stuffed by a war they didn't want

    http://www.harpers.org/BaghdadYearZero.html [harpers.org]

    Its a good read. Would like to see an update on it though.

  • by Tim C (15259) on Monday March 13, 2006 @09:00AM (#14906552)
    It doesn't matter how many times our president says it, you are not at war.
  • by LordKazan (558383) on Monday March 13, 2006 @09:11AM (#14906588) Homepage Journal
    How is McCain-Feingold a violation of the 1st Ammendment. I know the knee-jerk "telling people they cannot give as much money as they want to a congress person is a restriction of their free speech!" implying "money to congress person=speech". As I see it from the daily examples of corrupt politicians keeping the best interests of their largest donors in mind, not the best interests of their constituents, I say "money to congress person=violation of the right of the average american citizen to representation".

    Allowing ANY direct contributions to a candidate/party allows them to be bought by the highest bidder. The people giving the money will get preferential treatment in congress, and the actual american people will get screwed. No, giving money to candidates is not free speech, it is putting nails in the coffin of the people's right to representation and building the coffin of democracy.

    All elections should be funded by "Central pool" - say there are 3 candidates on the ballot in a race for a senate seat - a central pool of money should be setup and the 3 candidates should get even thirds of that money. If you think that election is important you give to the pool - your candidate gets to be heard more, but so do the others - but hey if your candidate is so great his 1/3 of the money should be more valuable to you than the other 2/3s that went elsewhere. Basically a candidate should have to prove themselves on issues: not on who can buy more ad time.

    What a 527 can put on the air should be tightened up to so that slander/libel can be pursued against them much more easily as opposed to how it is now where it's harder to pursue libel against someone if you're a politician.
  • by MourningBlade (182180) on Monday March 13, 2006 @09:12AM (#14906592) Homepage

    Most people killed by gunfire (in the U.S.) are done so in domestic disputes. It is a fact: You are more likely to get shot by someone you know than by a burglar/thief/other criminal.

    You're more likely to be killed by someone you know than otherwise. Whatever the murder weapon is.

  • by stinerman (812158) <nathan.stine@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Monday March 13, 2006 @09:18AM (#14906609) Homepage
    I live in Ohio and I was part of the recount team there. I participated in the recounts of 3 counties. I can say that I'm convinced that there was no removing of ballots/adding ballots for Bush. I will also say that there was some gross negligence on the part of the boards of election and our good friend Ken Blackwell. There was a reason precincts that voted Democratic had less voting machines.
  • A better phrase (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Danathar (267989) on Monday March 13, 2006 @09:24AM (#14906637) Journal
    "Those who beat their swords into plows will plow for those who don't"
  • Re:Eventually... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by tomstdenis (446163) <tomstdenis@@@gmail...com> on Monday March 13, 2006 @10:05AM (#14906894) Homepage
    That's democracy for you.

    Instead of engaging in smear campaigns and pointless knee-jerk reactionary bullshit you guys could have been pushing for rational discussion of the issues on the media.

    If every democrat or indepdendent went to CNN, Fox, etc and said "I'm not your puppet, I won't play the cliche mud smear game" you'd see them getting really bored really fast. All of a sudden the country wouldn't be "bipartisan" anymore as the media would actually have to do some RESEARCH to find news [e.g. real issues].

    Tom
  • by enjahova (812395) on Monday March 13, 2006 @10:30AM (#14907095) Homepage
    Likely, "intentionally disclosing information identifying or describing" the Bush administration's terrorist surveillance program would not affect a law abiding President at all.

    If you are so eager to believe that "those who are innocent have nothing to fear," then why can't we apply it to the President? If he is right in his programs, why can't we know anything about them, why can't the courts?

    This law is bad because at best it makes things that are already illegal, illegal, and at worst it makes things that are legal illegal. When you look at laws you can't say "likely it will be used right" or "it probably will be used right" you have to look at in what worst way can it be used for the wrong ends, and thats what that law can do.

    I agree that TFA didn't give us enough to go on, but I don't think those two quotes have to be contradictory.
  • It's not fascism when we [the west or US] do it.
  • by myth24601 (893486) on Monday March 13, 2006 @11:01AM (#14907407)
    My solution would be to allow unlimited anonymous donations, in fact, all donations to political parties/candidates would be required to be anonymous. Regulations would be imposed to keep people from working around it (so somone can't say "I will put $10345.19 into your campaign at 3:01pm Friday").

    That way I can go tell my congressmen that I donated a big load of money to him and he will have to be nice to me cause he won't know if I am telling the truth.
  • by cdrguru (88047) on Monday March 13, 2006 @11:06AM (#14907444) Homepage
    You cannot restrict public financing to three or any other number of "qualified" candidates - that is how they keep a lid on the candidates in Iran. Everyone that comes forward must be funded equally, or it is discriminatory. Can you imagine how it would be if three white candidates were funded and a black candidate got nothing or even just less?

    A requirement that they show up with some evidence that they stand some chance of getting elected can also be discriminatory - look at what happened to the petition signing for Nader. He was kept off ballots because of petitions that were disqualified, thus again restricting the pool of candidates.

    The candidate is going to give up at least a year of any sort of employment to run for election. Lately, in the US it has become almost a two-year commitment. To prevent this from being a "you gotta be rich" sort of thing, the funding for candidates have to include a healty stipend for their support and for their families.

    So, why can we not have 1,000 candidates for mayor for a city, each receiving a fully-funded free ride for a couple of years? How long will it take before every citizen in the US understands all they need to do is run for every office possible (think 25,000,000 candidates for president) so as to be fully supported by the Federal Election Commission?

    Come on, is that where you really want to go? Or is it that you think it would be better if the candidates were narrowed to just a few "qualified" candidates selected by the incumbents?
  • Re:fuck (Score:2, Interesting)

    by HolyCrapSCOsux (700114) on Monday March 13, 2006 @01:05PM (#14908579)
    But you see... In america, you BUY your way in to the whitehouse. in the 2004 Election, Bush spent $150Million [scholastic.com]on his campaign.
    Kerry Spent a measly $33Million. Who won?
  • by Danny Rathjens (8471) <slashdot2.rathjens@org> on Monday March 13, 2006 @02:25PM (#14909310)
    There was a reason precincts that voted Democratic had less voting machines.

    A higher population density in democrat-voting areas leading to a seemingly insufficient amount of machines there purely through poor planning with a new untried system and no malice aforethought? Slightly related; I just saw these maps showing that the slave states and territories of the past correlate quite well with red states (and free states with blue states). ;)
    http://sensoryoverload.typepad.com/sensory_overloa d/2004/11/free_states_vs_.html [typepad.com]

  • Re:broken promises (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ultranova (717540) on Monday March 13, 2006 @03:22PM (#14909869)

    I'm not too worried about the U.S. government decaying into tyranny. I am worried, however, that the U.S. could lose our global position and end up back where we were in the late 1800's... That is, hardly a force to be reckoned with, either militarily or economically.

    Which would propably be a good thing for everyone, even the US. It would make the US stop being a target for terrorism, letting you put your economy and society onto healthier ground than the current debt-taking production-outsourcing trend with constant warmongering thrown in for bad measure. But there's likely to be a lot of grief when the house of cards crashes.

    A situation where a single power completely dominates the whole world is simply unmaintainable. The question is not if the US empire will come down, but how bad the collapse will be. You better hope that you get a smart president next, someone who dismantles it peacefully, before it will collapse violently. A peacefull dismantling, if combined with a sharp reduction in military budget and a large upscaling of social services, still lets you keep a good standard of living, while a violent collapse resulting from the foreign money lenders refusing to give you anymore, or all the places you've outsourced production to from nationalizing the production plants to reap the rewards themselves, or the countries currently engaged in "free trade" with you simply realizing that it is in their best interest to quit those deals and protect their domestic production with tariffs, resulting in sharp decrease in your ability to export your products, will result in complete economic chaos in the US, whose economy is heavily in debt to begin with.

    Basically, you are not going to stay a superpower for long anymore, you just don't have the resources to continue dominating the world. Better abdicate peacefully and keep some of your power and riches than being thrown out by force and facing the guillotine.

    Not trying to troll or bash the US, just pointing out what I think is the truth. Every empire in the history has fallen eventually, US is no different. I simply think that the fall will happen pretty soon, since the US economy is based on taking debt and is already heavily indebted, and its military hasn't managed to pacify Iraq and doesn't seem able to, in the near future, putting that much more strain to the economy. Add heavy corruption in both government and major corporations, and you have a pretty nasty mess brewing.

  • by Michael Woodhams (112247) on Monday March 13, 2006 @04:33PM (#14910460) Journal
    I just did a web search. This list was published in 2003. As such, it clearly is deliberately drawing parallels - looking for common threads between current USA politics and historical facist regimes. This looks like an academically informed partisan political argument, rather than an impartial assesment.

    I'd be happier if it had been published in (say) 1975, so that it was predictive rather than reactive.

    (For the record, I agree with the author's point of view, however.)
  • Short term logic (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Omaze (952134) on Monday March 13, 2006 @04:56PM (#14910640) Journal
    > I'd rather choose the theif who's trying to get enough money to help put his son/daughter through college

    As a result the offspring of the thief will always get a better education and have a better starting point than your own children. Your children will be doomed to an existence that is pleasant only so long as the offspring of the thieves are sufficiently preoccupied with other entertainment.

    I'm all for cooperating and getting along and accepting that there will always be someone who has it better. I have no problem accepting that I have a place in society and that place may not necessarily be at the top rung. However, the way I see it, the siphoning going on has reached an unacceptable percentage. It has reached the point where it's better to tell the thief to go get fscked than to give in willingly.

    Every once in a while a regime reaches the point of completely inexcuseable self-serving greed and treachery. I feel that the political system here in the US has reached that point... about 130-140 years ago. The majority of the population has had it just good enough to be able to ignore the infractions and keep moving on. Good for them. I'm not in that group. At some point I must've pissed off someone with really long arms because, no matter where I go, there's never a clear opportunity to get ahead--there are only thieves backed by legal mumbo-jumbo with authority enforced by people who don't know any better.
  • Re:broken promises (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Jesus_666 (702802) on Monday March 13, 2006 @05:04PM (#14910707)
    While I do commend your unexpectedly good grip on history I do have one comment to your argument of people needing a primer: People can be subverted by gradually changing the conditions (as you have pointed out). It's not entirely impossible that such a gradual change might be the extension of what we're currently experiencing - if laws like the PATRIOT Act were the start of a trend and further down the road, when people have accepted the current set of laws, there would be further similar laws it might be possible to slowly subvert society with the people not noticing that all their freedoms have been made obsolete until it's too late.

    I'm not implying that it is happening, but it's certainly possible. Especially when the current enemy du jour is an abstract concept like terrorism.
  • by stinerman (812158) <nathan.stine@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Monday March 13, 2006 @05:48PM (#14911090) Homepage
    I've been told that the recount was not conducted legally, as the precincts that were recounted were not randomly chosen, as required by state law.

    Its true for certain values of "random". At one of the counties, a math professor who I worked with objected to it saying that the selection of precincts was not truly random. The Boards of Election decided that "random" meant a few numbers off the top their head. He said that "random" meant drawing out of a hat or using some sort of RNG to get precinct numbers. Another county decided that they would just use one of their largest precincts because they didn't want to count several different ones. State law also says that the hand count must be 3% of that counties vote. They decided to narrow the search to single precincts that contained at least 3% of the vote and then chose from there. That was certainly not random.

    when the election is fairly close to begin with, it doesn't have to be as blatant as programming every voting machine to misrecord votes

    I'm not saying there wasn't any sort of pre-election tampering. There could have been numerous logistical problems leading up to the election. What I'm saying is that I'm confident that the recount was conducted in a relatively fair manner. Our Boards of Election must have equal numbers of Democrats and Republicans on them, which is why I make that statement. As an aside, one of my most favorite anomalies was where a candidate would lose votes. It was a routine matter to see votes gained since if a chad were hanging in a certain way, the machine may or may not count that vote for a candidate. Losing votes was quite suspect.
  • by demachina (71715) on Monday March 13, 2006 @08:30PM (#14912275)
    It might have described Churchill but it didn't really describe FDR.

    Britain and the U.S. in the 20-30's were in fact pretty Fascist leaning especially in the wealthy and ruling elites. Its a dirty little secret that MANY affluent Americans and American businesses were aggressive investors and supporters of Nazi Germany's economy. George W.'s grandfather Prescott was for a long period the U.S. banker and broker for the Thyssen family, one of Germany's richest industrialist dynasties. The Thyssen family was integral in helping the Nazi party gain power, they helped finance them, and united Germany industrialists behind them. Fritz Thyssen wrote a rather boring book about it called "I Paid Hitler". Prescott's Union Banking was seized by the Roosevelt administration for trading with the enemy when war was declared against Germany much to the embarrassment of the Bush family.

    Britain's King Edward was almost certainly a Fascist sympathizer and Hitler probably would have reinstated him as his pupper leader if he'd conquered the U.K.

    During this era the U.S. and to a lesser extent the U.K. were rascist societies, segregation and antisemitism were very pronounced. In this respect they had a lot in common with Nazi Germany though they won't admit it to themselves.

    The U.S., U.K. and Germany were rabidly anti communist and were pretty much on the same page in seeking the downfall of Stalin, the Soviet Union and Communis,. Hitler did at times expect the U.K. and the U.S. to ally with Germany. They didn't presumably because they eventually realized the danger that Germany would dominate the world under Hitler, and the U.S. and U.K. wanted that job and the wealth that flowed from it. Both Hitler and the Allies allied with Stalin when they saw strategic advantage in it but in reality all three nations wanted nothing more than to wipe Communism off the face of the planet.

    I would be inclined to say Churchill probably could have been labelled a Fascist were it not for the fact he is famous for having battled the world's most notorious Fascist power. In a lot of ways it was two Fascists duking it out for supremacy.

    Now Roosevelt is such a strange duck I'm not sure you could categorize him. I would label him substantially more a Socialist than Fascist though. Like Churchill his political leaning was heavily shaped by the fact he reigned through a depression and a world war. Under the many strains of the Depression there was widespread expectation that the U.S. should have seen a full fledged Fascist revolution. In many respects you can thank FDR and his advisors for staving it off. He did it through a lot of pro worker and socialist programs and not through Fascism. He was pro military and did institute a near police state during World War II but there was an obvious unavoidable necessity for it since the entire world was arming at a furious pace and invading each other. By contrast the wars created under the Bush administration are largely wars of choice, and the staggering sums being spent on the military, and the power being given to it are completely disproportionate to the threats in the world.
  • Re:fuck (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Money for Nothin' (754763) on Monday March 13, 2006 @11:55PM (#14913274)
    Funny -- the Iraqi insurgents have been doing a reasonable job of fucking us up and draining us of our "resolve", haven't they?

    And they have nothing more than small arms and car-bombs... Against our 130,000 world's-best-equipped (mostly) soldiers plus Iraq's own growing police force and military that we've been training.

    Prior to Dubya's War on Brown People, I didn't think that millions of Americans with small-arms and IEDs would stand a chance against the incredible might of the world's only remaining superpower. Now I'm not so sure; particularly if many members of our military are sympathetic to the plight of the American people fighting them in response to the (perceived, if not real) repression imposed by our government...

    (Watch me get modded: -1, Dangerous)
  • Re:broken promises (Score:3, Interesting)

    by surprise_audit (575743) on Tuesday March 14, 2006 @01:21AM (#14913605)
    Speaking of the PATRIOT Act and subverting laws and society, there's another threat to our freedoms on the horizon. Under the guise of "protecting the food supply", the USDA is pushing regulations that will eventually make it difficult for average people to raise their own animals. It's called the National Animal Identification System [nonais.org] and when it comes into full force every single livestock animal, from a newly hatched chicken to a full sized draft horse will have to be RFID-tagged and registered, as well as the premises where they are kept, and of course there's a filing fee. And if a registered animal is transported from one place to another?? File movement papers, both for going out and coming back, with more fees, of course. The penalty for not registering?? $1,000 per animal, per day of non-compliance.

    How does this "protect the food supply"?? Well, it doesn't... Supposedly it protects from "Mad Cow Disease", except that's been proved to be caused by cows being fed parts of other cows. For the thousands of people whose livestock doesn't get within 5 miles of a cow, mad or sane, it's nothing more than yet another tax. And that includes 90-year-old grandmothers living in apartment blocks with pet parakeets or canaries.

It is wrong always, everywhere and for everyone to believe anything upon insufficient evidence. - W. K. Clifford, British philosopher, circa 1876

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