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Congress@Work 177

BoKnowsBeer writes: "H.R. 1486 - Sponsor: Rep Grucci, Felix J., Jr.. Title: To amend section 254 of the Communications Act of 1934 to require schools and libraries receiving universal service assistance to block access to Internet services that enable users to access the World Wide Web and transfer electronic mail in an anonymous manner." Grucci is quoted as saying privacy sites are used to recruit children into militant, pro-environmental causes. I want some of what he's been smoking. Meanwhile, Representative Billy Tauzin, who has forgotten that he lives in the U.S., put forward HR 2420, which will eliminate all of the requirements on the Baby Bell companies which keep them from destroying the competing exchange carriers, and finish off any remaining competition from DSL carriers such as Covad and Northpoint, which would no longer be permitted to lease space in the telcos' Central Offices for their DSL equipment. But the CLEC's are rallying - they went to their congressmen, handed them the requisite bags of cash, and got their own bill to rally behind.
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  • by Anonymous Coward
    These horrible devices let people send *NON-ELECTRONIC* mail in an ANONYMOUS fashion! Worse yet, some of these devices are near SCHOOLS!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Apparently I'm the only one, but try actually reading HR2420.
    My favorite part:
    "Each Incumbent Local Exchange Carrier (ie, phone company) has a duty to provide -- ... users with the ability to subscribe to ... any Internet service provider ...
    any ISP with the facilities and services to connect interconnect with such carriers high speed data service...
    any Internet service provider with the ability to collocate equipment ...

    So I guess my point is, I would much more like some of what most of YOU are smoking way more than what Tauzin is smoking.

    Thank you Slashdot, for spreading more FUD faster than anyone else could.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    It's taking a living thing's life away (even if you don't agree that a fetus is human yet at that stage, it is still a living cellular organism) plain and simple

    Does that mean I'm committing mass murder when I jack off?

    Dammit! I just dripped living organisms on the carpet!

  • by Anonymous Coward
    "The Who Is E-Mailing Our Kids Act, H.R. 1846, is part of Grucci's "Hands Off Our Kids" (HOOK) initiative, which was developed in response to what Grucci terms "acts of terrorism" that took place in his eastern Long Island district - including the destruction of property tied to a radical environmental cause. " 'The Who'is mailing our kids? I can understand the 'destruction of property' thing - but I never knew they were radical enviro-freaks. That band really changed after Keith Moon died.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    You spun your dial searching for a new radio station, and you stopped it on a show featuring someone in a different political group from you?

    And then you listened to her rationally and looked for areas where her positions made sense to you?

    And now you are getting on one of those evil Internet discussion groups and calmly presenting your opinion without the benefit of mediation from a media megacorp?!

    Damn, you are gonna be on the Thought Police's 10 most wanted list!

    I can see why Rep. Grucci wants to protect teenagers from people like you. Just think of all those innocent teenagers, who aren't safely signed up as Republicans or Democrats yet, being exposed to dangerous ideas. It's the Committees of Correspondence all over again, and we know what kind of anarchy and chaos they led to!

  • Maybe you can tell this poster where to send his letter. 41&cid=119 []

    Here's the link in plain text in case you fear the link. 41&cid=119

  • Gay rights marchers are on the defensive side of things. They are threatened by people like Dr. Laura with a ban on their way of life. They aren't trying to prevent Dr. Laura from having a heterosexual relationship or any other kind. They're trying to prevent her and people like her from making decisions about how gay people should live their lives.

  • As it has been pointed out elsewhere in these posts, the Constitution exists to tell the government what it can and cannot do, not the people. If the Constitution doesn't say that the government can do something, then it can't do it.

  • The House of Representatives is not exactly made of up of people from the right side of the bell curve. In some districts, all you have to do is have the largest car dealership in town to be considered Congressional material.
  • In case you didn't figure it out, Tauzin's obviously from a Cajun district. His English language site is at [].

    I find the pictures amuzing. On the Cajun site, he's a smiling fool with a couple of big catfish in his boat. On the english site, he wears a suit in an office somewhere. interesting, eh?


  • Only people who use the internet for making pipe bombs, dealing drugs, and looking at child pornography need privacy! -- Or so some people seem to think.. I understand that there needs to be responsible parties behind every action.. But the misconception that only those who intend to do harm want privacy.. is just outlandish. It's a way of protecting people from themselves.. and protecting society from those who prey on the innocent. Hah.

    And I'm sure the idea of quality/standard control over competing carriers has to be the prompting of them backing the Bells. The government always has the general publics best interest in mind.
  • Then we were fighting a revolution against the evil British Empire. It was treason then against the Brits, but it was okay because we were the "good guys"

    Now the same actions would be seen as bad and possibly treasonous against our own country because our Government and America is good and perfect of course.
  • They're not that smart.

    The real motivation is that our Congress is comprised of wealthy, well-to-do people who have been wealthy and well-to-do all of their lives. They act out of a single purpose - to increase their personal wealth. Does helping the "common worker" get them wealthy? Nope. It gets them goodwill - which is worth exactly nothing in terms of cold, hard cash. Does helping a huge megacorp who pays you kickbacks (filtered through an appropriate "Special Interest Group", of course) get them wealthy? You bet.

    Take the situation where you have two guys who want you to do something for them. One of them is a rather pathetic excuse for a human being, obviously in need of your help, but with nothing to give in return. The other is well dressed, and is offering you $100,000.00 to help him out. Who would you help? Most people would take the cash. Our Congress is no different, regardless of how they are *supposed* to work.

    Another situation where something works very well in theory, but sucks in practice.

  • It's a reference to the film "Doctor Strangelove".
  • Grucci is quoted as saying privacy sites are used to recruit children into militant, pro-environmental causes. I want some of what he's been smoking. No, you don't; it's making him seriously paranoid. Must be PCP.
  • Congradulations, fellas.
  • Ironically, as he rails against the evils of environmentalism, he's been smoking "mother nature". Strange world.
  • >1) Environmentalists using privacy sites to
    >recruit children?

    You mean like the "captain planet" cartoon?

  • by vees ( 10844 ) <> on Friday May 18, 2001 @11:27AM (#213104) Homepage Journal

    The Honorable Felix J. Grucci, Jr.
    1505 Longworth House Office Building
    Washington, DC 20515

    May 16, 2001

    Representative Grucci,

    On May 16, 2001, the Newsbytes section of the Washington Post quoted you as saying that militant environmental groups "use privacy sites on the Internet to anonymously contact one another and recruit our children. Then, using the environment or other worthwhile causes, they manipulate juveniles into committing crimes to further their own cause."

    I'm concerned about the nature of such accusations, and by your characterization of these privacy sites as having no fundamental purpose beyond the commission of crimes. I hope you haven't forgotten that the right to anonymous and private speech is fundamental to the preservation of liberty and safety against persecution, both from government and from other citizens.

    Perhaps privacy makes you feel uncomfortable. Are you concerned that these privacy sites are enabling countless whistle-blowers in both government and industry to bring corruption and other untoward activities to light? Would you rather have everyone's opinions forced out in the open so we can single out groups like radical environmentalists and persecute them "for the children?"

    You should not be concerned about your citizens having their right to privacy and anonymity, unless perhaps you have something to hide.

    I am fundamentally opposed to your bill, H.R. 1846. As a substitute for parental supervision, it falls horribly short. As a step back towards an era of terrified McCarthyism, however, it does a wonderful job. Consider the implications your bill would have on the American people before continuing with this effort. Thank you for your time. I look forward to hearing from you.


    Rob Carlson

    I'd like to send a copy of this letter to local newspapers in his district. If you know them please e-mail me.

    A copy of this message is available on my web page. []


  • This bill, if passed, appears to provide a convenient excuse for the government to outlaw public school and library access to forums like slashdot that permit anonymous posting.

  • by jms ( 11418 ) on Friday May 18, 2001 @10:55AM (#213106)
    How ironic that the act is titled the Who Is E-Mailing Our Kids Act, when it has absolutely nothing to do with people emailing kids, and everything to do with the ability of kids to email other people.

    This bill should be relabelled the "Child Identification to Pedophiles Act of 2001."

    By forbidding the use of anonymous email, this law mandates the disclosure of the identity of children when they use the internet.

    If the purpose of the law was really to protect children, it would be completely reversed. It would require that any minor who wishes to use the net be provided with the ability to safely and anonymously do so, without the risk of their identity being discovered by third parties on the internet.

  • I work at a college where anonymous spamming and racial attacks come from the college computers and *I* have to deal with angry sysadmins and lawyers. I dont know about a congressional bill, but I consider it part of my job to automate protecting the school from preventable abuse and legalism. We have password/logins and routinely forward personal information about the offending students to the appropriate authorities, but this does little to deter their behavior. It happens to be a community college, so there are new people every day who fill the gaps and start anew. Our school is one of *most*. Take this into account.

    Often wrong but never in doubt.
    I am Jack9.
    Everyone knows me.
  • Dr. Laura is HARDLY a presenter of valid secular arguments in most cases. She knows what's right and wrong, because her (converted) Judaism tells her what is right and wrong. She is a very smart cookie; she uses those smarts to then figure out ways to argue for what she already, a priori, knows is right and wrong.

    Perhaps more clever than the average conservative moralist, but not particularly higher quality.

    In addition to asking her about homosexuality (so she can show her true foaming insanity), you should ask her about how to treat one's mentors. Seems she had an affair with her radio mentor long ago when she was first getting started, and when he was (many years later) going to magnanamously and quietly present her with all the nude photos he had of her to destroy as she wished, she turned into a raving bitch. At which point he essentially said FUCK YOU and turned the photos over to whomever wanted them. Quite the example of why you should practice the good manners you preach.

  • Don't be supprised if this happens either. In SF we have almost an entirely NEW board of supervisors, cause people were tired of the old ones as they were not doing their job. The new board is not much better, but I'd rather nothing get done than to have WIll Brown get what he wants done, and this new board isn't in WIlies pocket.

    As I said if you do not vote you cannot complain. If you voted the canidate in then you are part of the problem and maybe next time you will know more about the candidate.

    Just because someone is an encumbant does not make them bad. They are bad when they do things that are not good for all, but only good for a few.

    In the words of Spock " The needs of the many out weight the needs of the few."

    I don't want a lot, I just want it all!
    Flame away, I have a hose!

  • by josepha48 ( 13953 ) on Friday May 18, 2001 @01:10PM (#213110) Journal
    This is why it is important for people who read slashdot to vote. It is important for anyone over the age of 18 in the US to vote and those that are under the age of 18 to talk with their parents and their elders and to get them to understand what this really means.

    People always cry when something like this happens, or is introduced, but the fact is that if you did not vote, then you really cannot complain. So did you vote??? I did!

    Ever wonder why old people get there way ? It is because they are the largest group of voters. The fact is that many (not all) of them do not understand technology so when they vote they get what they want.

    I voted a lot of things down last year cause they were stupid. Mre taxie cabs in SF?? NO we don't need them, try calling the cab company that is what your cell phone is for.

    You do realize that even if this is introduced as a bill it can be taken to the people at any point in time?? That is what petitions do, if enough people get petitions together they can force a vote on the ballot and prevent idiots like this from getting things like this passed. Get politically active and make a change!!

    His thinking is flawed and we see that and hopefully so will some of the people in Congress when they realize that this is a total violation of privacy. It is in fact probably more close to the opposite. If you do not protect these people provacy then child molesters will have better access to the children. The truth is that if he knew what he was talking about he'd want to protect the privacy of people than do this. Sounds to me like he wants Big Brother to be watching you and me!

    I don't want a lot, I just want it all!
    Flame away, I have a hose!

  • The Constitution doesn't guarantee anonymity, which is why Windoze and I are looking after that issue ourselves :)

    Caution: contents may be quarrelsome and meticulous!

  • They want to cut funding to any publicly fund colleges that have anonymous usuage. Well, if my memory servers me right, would that not kill funding for just about every College Computer Lab?

    I have use a number of computer labs at number of colleges and most were 'no accounts required'. Does this guy require that every person card-in and then sign-in using an account?

    Typical shorted sightness.

  • I'm inclined to think that this is a troll, but it looks close enough to the real thing that I'll take the risk.

    All she's saying is, she sees no difference between homosexuality, bestiality and incest, on a moral basis.

    That's not all that she's saying, and shame on you for intimating that it is. She also makes the claim that homosexuality is a result of "biological error," and publicly denounced the American Psychiatric Association for removing homosexuality from its list of disorders.

    Elsewhere, Schlessinger denies that her attitudes are in any way discriminatory:

    In other words, AB 222 suggested that sexual orientation discrimination was the same and equal to racial and gender discrimination? How can that be? A behavior, the same as a born gender and a born race?
    - Schlessinger, June 3 1999

    In other words, homosexuality is a result of biological error, like, say, Tourette's Syndrome []. Yet while we're taught to feel pity towards victims of the latter for their tendency to shout socially awkward things, homosexuality is somehow evil, and denying them rights and privileges available to straight people isn't discrimination. That's doublethink.

    Yet, we are supposed to consider the second two deviant and evil, but the first is now a right, and is holy and pure. Why? It's absolute doublethink.
    - Galvatron

    Is it? Let's use Schlessinger's actual words here. She says that she's afraid of rights for homosexuals - wait, sorry, "sexual deviants" - because it may lead to other "rights" as well, specifically, rights for pedophiles (see the quote in my previous post). Maybe you don't see a fundamental moral difference between pedophilia and homosexuality, but I do: most people that I know do not hold pedophilia to be on an equal moral footing with sex between two consenting adults, regardless of their gender.

    All this aside, however, it is ultimately uninteresting to me what Dr. Laura's opinion is on holiness or purity. If she wants to say that homosexuality is a sin, fine: I'm not going to dispute religious doctrine with her. Let her speak out against pedophilia, bestiality, pre-marital sex - fuck, I don't care if she wants to badmouth philately []. But she shouldn't try to cloak her hatred of homosexuality in quasi-scientific justifications. She can have that damn cake, as far as I'm concerned: she just can't eat it too.

  • by sammy baby ( 14909 ) on Friday May 18, 2001 @11:33AM (#213114) Journal


    First, I need to start by saying that I agree with your point that it's important to conisder people's arguments for what they are, rather than to reject them out of hand because of who espoused them. In logic/rhetoric, this is called "poisoning the well []," where you forego attacking an argument because its proponent makes an easier/more attractive target.

    It's kind of a shame, really, because this is one nasty, funky well. Dr. Laura is a bigoted creep who is fond of referring to gays and lesbians as "biological errors," and refers to the practice of homosexuality as destructive []. Her justification for doing so isn't rooted in scientific research, but in her personal religious convictions. An example:

    Let me just read a bit of this [news story] to you: "The debate over gay rights..." Rights. RIGHTS! RIGHTS? For sexual deviant . . . sexual behavior there are now rights. That's what I'm worried about with the pedophilia and the bestiality and the sadomasochism and the cross-dressing. Is this all going to be "rights" too, to deviant sexual behavior? It's deviant sexual behavior. Why does deviant sexual behavior get rights? Don't understand that to start out with.
    - Schlessinger [], June 9, 1999.

    I don't have a problem with differing points of view. I do have a problem when people take their own personal moral decisions, thinly cloak them under a veil of pseudo-logic [], and try to ram them down everyone's throat.

  • Though the link is correct, the bill number is 1846. (I submitted this damned story twice with the correct info. Sigh.)

    There's a short but lucid writeup at Newsbytes []

    I especially like Grucci's quote:
    [people who used anonymous services were]
    "radical organizations are made up of loosely knit groups from across the country that endorse militant action in the name of a particular cause"

    Yeah, in our Land of the Free, no one needs anonymous speech, because of our first amendment protections. Tell that to Keith Henson, $c|ent010gy protestor, if you can find him, since he fled to Canada...

  • What this law is about is getting rid of anonymity. If the schools bar access to certain ISPs, then those ISPs will look again at their proceedures. Some of them will decide to change them. This may make more of them decide to change. Etc. If the snowball is successful, then anonymity will be gone. The kids don't really have anything to do with it. They're just a convenient excuse.

    What's rather strange is the particular justifying accusation. Since when is recruiting for a political party a crime? I'm going to start a bill that makes mailing things without an individual person's name, address, and working telephone # (which must be answered by the named person) on them a crime. After all, republican political action committees use that to organize.

    Caution: Now approaching the (technological) singularity.
  • by igjeff ( 15314 ) on Friday May 18, 2001 @10:45AM (#213117)
    Tauzin's bill is H.R. 1542, *not* 2420.

    This is basically the same bill that Tauzin introduced last year as H.R. 2420, but the bill number this year 1542. This is *important* as people calling to urge their congresspersons to kill this bill will need to get the number correctly.

    Please correct this in the summary.

  • by apsmith ( 17989 ) on Friday May 18, 2001 @10:42AM (#213118) Homepage
    One Republican incompetent (Mike Forbes) replaced by another. Sigh. Grucci was head of a fireworks company here before becoming leader of the Town of Brookhaven (affectionately known as "Crookhaven" - the Republican Party Chief here got busted a couple of years ago for some Mafia-related business). And now in Congress... his opponent in the general election was a nice old lady who had almost no money to run on (Mike Forbes, previously a republican, had spent all the Democrat's money in his primary challenge, which he lost to this woman, an environmental lawyer). And the people out here pride themselves on their environmental awareness too! Almost makes me ashamed to live here. Luckily I get to vote against him again next year...
  • someone247356
    someone every hour, of every week, of every day of the year.

    Your name would make more sense if it were "someone24752" or "someone24365".
  • Environmentalists using privacy sites to recruit children? Yeah, wouldn't want out kids to be politically active, they need to be consuming/producing machines that only vote for the Parties, not some fringe group. Won't someone please think of the children? This is America after all, can't have anything other than Mom, the Flag, and Apple Pie in kids' minds. Thought is corruption. Ignorance is strength.

    If these "privacy sites" do actually allow anonymous users, how does Rep Felix Grucci Jr. know environmental groups are using them to contact children? If these services are anonymous, then how would the children know this anonymous email is from an environmental group with the email (contents) break anonyminity?

    He probably means children are using anonymous email to get information from environmental groups. If this is his beef, then how does he know these anonymous emails from children? It would also seem these children are the ones initiatating/sending these emails TO environmental groups.

  • good point.

  • In the United States, politics are lies. "We have always been at war with Oceania."
  • aka. Billy Tauzin may be trying to convert the phone companies back to how they were in the 1970s, but the U.S. Government isn't THAT stupid. The bill mentioned above (2420) has been passed along to a judiciary committee so the Constitutionality of it can be contested.

    ...More Powerful than Otto Preminger...
  • I guess Grucci used to be a judge, because on his barly existant web page [], he puts his mailing address as
    The Honorable Felix J. Grucci, Jr.
    1505 Longworth House Office Building
    Washington, DC 20515
    Phone: (202) 225-3826
    Fax: (202) 225-3143

    Or maby he just has an ego problem? or does Honerable also qualify for Congressman, because if it does. HEHEHHE
  • How ironic that the act is titled the Who Is E-Mailing Our Kids Act, when it has absolutely nothing to do with people emailing kids, and everything to don with the ability of kids to email other people.

    But this is the United States we are talking about.

    Whenever politicians want to do something that's unconstitutional, illegal, or against the wishes of their constituants (the war on drugs, christian fundamentalists, and the PMRC come to mind), they need only utter the magic phrase:

    "Won't someone please think of the children!"

    Now, if you fight them, you are obivously against children, you evil bastard.


  • This issue about the hoops a library must jump though to get federal funding for Internet access overshadows the larger issue of why the federal government is shelling out this money at all. Libraries should not be getting thier funding from simians in Washington in exchange for doing tricks (Roll Over, Play Dead, Install Filters). They should be getting thier funding and policies from the local communities that they serve. And if people don't like they idea of coughing up the dosh to support thier local library, maybe they just don't want one.
  • You're right; there is no official language for the US. I didn't make that completely clear in my post. There have been rumblings of making English the official language, but they're usually shot down rather fast.
  • by Platinum Dragon ( 34829 ) on Friday May 18, 2001 @10:50AM (#213128) Journal
    1) Environmentalists using privacy sites to recruit children? Yeah, wouldn't want out kids to be politically active, they need to be consuming/producing machines that only vote for the Parties, not some fringe group. Won't someone please think of the children? This is America after all, can't have anything other than Mom, the Flag, and Apple Pie in kids' minds. Thought is corruption. Ignorance is strength.

    Slightly miffed ranting aside, unless the good Congressman is privy to information no one else has, using the "protect the children" gambit is akin to busting out the race card; a last-resort measure that has been abused to the point where no one takes it seriously anymore. Perhaps he's more concerned about children developing political awareness earlier than voting age, before the Republicrats can program them to vote only for the Big Two, or they're Throwing Their Votes Away, like it's a horse race or something.

    2) Michael, you do realize other languages exist in the US, right? They may not be official, but I didn't realize there was some law preventing elected officials from putting any language other than American -- excuse me, English, on their page, even when the rep's constituents speak something other than English.

    If you want an English translation, perhaps you could e-mail the good man's website maintainers about providing an English translation? Is that so hard, or is it easier to make thoughtless comments on your soapbox?

  • Cajuns don't speak French...ask any Frenchman.

    Neither do Quebecois ... ;-)

  • What the hell is that?

    "Forgotten he lives in the States"?
    Just because he appropriatly made a Cajun style website?

    You mean you forgot that in your own country you have Cajun peoples but maybe this is too much for you to imagine all its implications for your little brain.

    Damn I hate racism.
  • Ask her how she feel about homosexuals.
  • If the nose pickers wanted to get married would you deny them that right? How about if they wanted to join the army?

    Here is a clue. They don't give a flying fuck about you admiring them they just want the same rights as you do. It's called equality look into it.
  • People, let's remember that this bill has only been introduced. It hasn't been passed yet. And it's up to us to write to our congress(wo)men and tell them how we feel about the issue so they can put this down.

    And please, people, vote these types of idiots out next election!
  • what he's been smoking. Unless you want to become a tool of the corporatist political system?
  • Keep in mind that Alcatel (the French phone co) are about to buy Bell Labs since Lucent have basicly'ed them selves.

    This could get real interesting because Bell Labs have done a bit of work with X-ray lasers involving nukes and if the French get ahold of that tech, they may blow up some more of French Polynesia doing more tests in the pascifc aginst the wishes of most of the world.
  • by drivers ( 45076 )
    What sites do they want blocked? I want to get recruited... Sounds like fun.
  • The Constitution of the USA guarantees neither anonymity nor even privacy. You're free to say what you want, but you're more than likely going to be held accountable for it.

    That's an interesting perspective mister "WinDoze". I'd like to talk to you a bit more about it. What was your name and street address again? :-)
  • The Supreme Court may have ruled that way, but what I said was the Constitution doesn't guarantee neither anonymity nor privacy. Many state constitutions make some provision for privacy, but there is no federal Constitutional guarantee.

    Agreed, if the Supreme Court rules it's a right it's a bit of a moot point, but hey, we're on /., and technically it's not in the Constitution.
  • I don't know... I mean, I see your point, but I don't take it as a right to privacy. I take it more as a right to security. There are so many things not addressed by the actual text of the amendment (although the same could be said for all of them). The right to not be subjected to police-state-type searches to me is fundamentally different than the right to not be identified by my credit card company when I make purchases. Just like the right to free speech, while applying to my right to stand on a soapbox and rant in a public park (assuming I've got the valid permits :), does NOT apply in it's entirety when I'm in my office working for my employer.
  • The Constitution of the USA guarantees neither anonymity nor even privacy. You're free to say what you want, but you're more than likely going to be held accountable for it.
  • Yeah, I know we've talked on and on about the web filters and the act to withhold funding from libraries that don't block "porn" and such, but I have a question.

    Now, if the act blocks funding if they don't install software that blocks access to pornographic websites, if there isn't any software that does that (since all software lets some of it through), does that mean they can just withhold it all? Perhaps it's sort of a backdoor way to reduce funding, since they know there is no way to fully comply?

    And more relevant to the first topic... do you think people are really going to be happy that they can no longer use any of the free e-mail services? Considering how big hotmail and yahoo mail accounts are, all those people are suddenly going to find they can't use them at the library. People aren't going to like it. (But then again, they voted for the people, don't they deserve whatever their elected officials do to them?)
  • On point two, you did check the page in question , right? If you had, you would have noticed that there IS an English traslation. The pictures are different, but it exists.
  • Perhaps if education was a higher priority there'd be less "whinning" and "turmultuos" times.
  • Holy fucking shit, do we have horrible politicians in charge of this country. From my own state too! I believe this calls for some letter writing. No email for this dude. He needs a nice, long typewritten letter with a strong font, a nice letterhead and an elegant signature. Acts of stupidity like this deserve the best I can give.


  • I hestitate to contribute to off-topic posts, but since the subject has already been broached, I find it an obligation to comment when I see something innacurate.

    I would like to first state that I am not a "homophobe," if only because I am not, by definition, afraid of homosexuals breaking into my house at night and buggering me. I have no problem with whatever a person does with their life, just as long as it doesn't hurt anybody, or requires me to pay for it.

    That being said, I find it obligatory to comment on the blatant mischaracterization of Dr. Laura that I constantly come across. While I hardly find it my job to defend Dr Laura, I find it necessary to clean the well when I see it poisoned.

    On the very outset of the argument you present against Dr Laura, it is necessary to correct a factual error you made in your post: Dr Laura does not refer to homosexuals as biological errors. Despite what the gloriously unbiased GLAAD has stated, Dr Laura has not refered to homosexuals as biological errors. Dr Laura has refered to the _act_ of homosexuality a biological error. It is important to see the distinction between the two statements, in that one of them is meant to infer that Dr Laura is a trash talker, a statement which borders on character assassination.

    The issue with Dr Laura has little to do with bigotry or hate talk. As with most politics, this is a war fought on rhetorics. The radical homosexual movement, truely, loves Dr Laura. She provides a bridge on which to launch rhetorical assaults on those they oppose, with a gleefully ignorant (or in some cases, truely malicious) media supporting them.

    How and to what advantage does the radical gay movement use her? To understand this, we have to understand the difference between the average gay, and the radical gay movement.

    As is unfortunate with politics, the most radical of a movement serves as the vanguard to the rest of the movement. The most radical fundamentalist christians become instant representatives of christians, simply because they speak the loudest. The most radical "civil rights" leaders, such as Jesse Jackson, serve as representatives of the black population, because they are the most obnoxious. So also do the radical homosexuals instantly become representatives of all homosexuals, while the rest of the homosexual population truely wants nothing to do with them. Ironically, the homosexual movement tries to characterize Dr Laura as a representative of all those who disagree with the radical homosexual movement. They exalt the image that all those who disagree with the radical homosexual movement do so because they are religious fundamentalists.

    What is wrong with this radical homosexual movement? The radical homosexual movement is one that comes in the form of a trojan horse. The radicals come baring the innocent statement that they wish for equality and freedom from persecution, things which all Americans, regardless of political leanings, understand are human rights. On the outset, these representatives seem unquestionable in their logic, leading to false presuppositions (an invaluable tool when it becomes necessary to distort arguments). Slowly, these representatives of Civil Rights begin to creep in more radical notions, which become easier to digest thanks to the slow weaning in which they are introduced to the system.

    This is where I became involved, involuntarily, in the homosexual rhetoric war. Sitting innocently, the world around me changed. Before I knew it, I was no longer a man who didn't agree with certain arguments. I became part of the all encompassing mantra known as the "homophobe."

    The question is not why I am deemed a "homophobe," although I will gladly explain point by point my views that lead to my Scarlet H, if someone so desires me to. The question becomes to what extent does the "homophobe" term serve?

    Because I am a "homophobe," I have instantly lost all rhetorical ground. Because of my stigma, I can not be listened to by the more proper folk in society... should people begin listening to me, they risk also attaining the stigma of homophobe. Can anyone here say that they are not afraid of being viewed as a racist if someone found out they viewed the KKK web site to hear their argument?

    What is so hatemongering about what Dr Laura says? She says that homosexuality is not right, a view which is completely consistant with her religion. She does not advocate violence, harassment, or persecution of homosexuals. She simply disagrees with the false presupposition that homosexuality is unquestionably normal. This is not a radically fringe view, as both science [] and logic would suggest it is completely possible, and dare I say plausible.

    As it stands right now, homosexuals are accepted by society. Their actions may not be accepted, but as people, they are. Yes, there are those out there who will act violent to homosexuals. Yes, there are those who have trouble with what others do with their lives. A million laws will not change this, and every logical person would understand this. The radical homosexual movement is no different than the radicals who protest violent video games and evil music in the Post-Columbine world.

    Ironically, you critize Dr Laura using potshots rather than providing solid criticism against her views. Dr Laura is not the characterature of hate and suffering so trumpeted by her opposition, and repeating such a lie will not make it true. You can not cure a well by contributing more poison.

    If you do not like Dr Laura ramming her views down your throat, don't tune in.

  • I live in GA. Apart from brokering military contracts for Lockheed/Martin (AFAIK, they provide more jobs in this state than anyone, excepting the military) , our state's representatives don't really have too much wrong with them.

    On the other hand, I see representatives from most other states that I would vote against in a heartbeat. Unfortunately, since I live in GEORGIA, and not in "most other states," I have no control over this.

    I'm only responsible for the quality of the legislators in my state, so stop blaming all of these problems on those of us who chose to not vote.

    I do, however, agree that petitioning is a good way to get things changed - unfortunately, there is no law stating that the government *MUST* put to a vote anything that is petitioned with XYZ^3 signatures - if that was the case, then all of those criminal marijuana laws would have been repealed by this time.
  • It is not even supposed to be French. It is Cajun French, as is stated on his "English" page.
  • I think there should be public diclosure in these bills that shows which special interest groups or lobbyist (sp?) were an influence in the formation of said bill. These groups have more influence over our representatives than the individual does. There has to be some accountability for all this influence peddling.
  • And most times if you don't address the letters correctly then they don't answer, good thing to know.

    It is one thing to address your employer as like that, but I have problems with addressing an employee that way. Maybe that is why I had gotten (or at least seemed to) a nice response from Mr. Woo in congress when he came to where I worked. I was the only person that was asking him questions without trying to look like I was kissing his ass. Kinda annoyed my boss's boss tho.
  • The kids [] he's talking about did download arson instruction from the web, but I haven't heard anything about them using "anonymous" email systems. Note that even if they did, that did not keep them from getting caught.
  • The first sentence of the privacy policy on his Web page

    Congressman Tauzin is a strong supporter of individual privacy on the Internet. Hypocrite

  • This post touches on the bribes aspects of this story. Which was covered last night in the BBC's ( flagship current affair programme Newsnight ( in the UK.

    Whilst I was aware that US Politians are regularly accused of accepting cash from companies for political 'favours', I always considered it to be an urban myth, however I found the reality of it shocking, VERY shocking.

    The gist of the allergations is that Bush is completly corrupt. He received 50 Million dollars in bribes^H^H^H^H^H^H 'political donations' from US energy companies, and has just given them 5 Billion dollars of subsidy back.

    There are also a host of other connected issues, which give a 10 fold return of investments for these companies. Through reduced liabilities, subsidies and law changes, etc, which quite frankly left me deeply disturbed.

    This is the summary: newsid_1319000/1319141.stm

    Transcript newsid_1338000/1338493.stm

    Streaming Media 41_payback_vi.ram

  • I have mixed emotions on this one. My wife having been subjected to a particularly nasty barage of hateful anonymous e-mail from an unknown person at our church, leaves me with serious questions about the necessity of anonymous mail sites. The only reason we know the e-mails were from someone at church was because of some of the detailed information they contained. The First Amendment guarantees our right to free speech without fear of repurcussions, with the possible exception of slander or shouting fire in a crowded theater. With that right comes responsibility. If your want to say something shouldn't you have the guts to identify yourself. The right to say something is not the same as the right to remain anonymous. I don't remember seeing anything about the right to anonymity in the Constituion.
  • This kind of boneheaded legislation should cause it's sponsor(s) to be subject to immediate recall vote when, inevitably, it is found to be unconstitutional. Promulgating an unconstitutional law is a violation of the oath of office (to uphold the constitution). Especialy in cases like this where the law is obviously unconstitutional in light of recent supreme court decisions.

  • by AMuse ( 121806 ) <slashdot-amuse&foofus,com> on Friday May 18, 2001 @10:45AM (#213173) Homepage
    The US Congress is also passing another law affecting the internet and freedom, entitled 'We Have Our Yearly Operating Data About Dangerous Youngsters'. The law is designed to collect daily internet usage by minors and aggregate it to have a central computer decide (on its own) which minors are dangerous by looking at the sites they visit, and expelling them from school before they act out.

    Passing through the house and Senate, 'WHOYODADY' has already been marked as an immenent success in protecting our children (at the expense of a teeny bit of freedom).

    Well, at least they're becoming less subtle. :>

    ------------------------------------------------ --
  • If this pisses you off, do something. If you live in the US, take a few minutes to fax, write or call your representative. Don't email them unless you know for certain that your rep reads *all* email. Reps' email inboxes are routinely flooded by groups about particular issues, and many of them warn that they just don't read any email at all.

    I know it's archaic, and a big pain in the ass, but these ppl take phonecalls and faxes seriously. There's a fleet of kiss-ass little interns who keep a running tally of letters, faxes and calls. (My rep sends me back personalized, hand-signed form letters for each different issue)

    Constituent opinion (particularly people in their districts) matters, and you can believe that the "pro-family", anti-freedom forces are lining up to support bills like this one. Those are folks that use the phone and fax.

    Don't let the bad guys get the upper hand.

    Maybe someone with a little spare time can google up an online fax-your-rep service for everyone here. Does EFF have one?

  • by chowdmouse ( 155597 ) <> on Friday May 18, 2001 @10:49AM (#213182)
    Only the home page is in Cajun french, the links I checked show the rest are in American english. There's also a very visible link to the home page in American english. I don't think this constitutes him having forgotten he lives in America. He's just showing some pride in his Cajun roots.

    Laissez Le Bon Temps Roule!

  • Tauzin's district office is in Gonzales, LA. EATEL, a major CLEC player in Louisiana, is headquartered in Gonzales as well. Hmmm I wonder who won't be getting a nice campaign contribution from Eatel next time around... ?

  • by Misch ( 158807 ) on Friday May 18, 2001 @01:36PM (#213184) Homepage
    Rep. Slaughter:

    I am writing this letter to you today to voice my opposition of H.R. 1486. HR 1486 is a requires schools and libraries receiving "E-rate" discounts for internet funding to block access to anonymous e-mail services.

    The bill, sponsored by Rep. Felix Grucci (R-NY), has inheret implications to rights of privacy and freedom of speech that we, as Americans, hold dear.

    Not only am I offended by the law, but the rationale for the law. Rep. Grucci is quoted in the Washington Post: [privacy site users] "are made up of loosely knit groups from across the country that endorse militant action in the name of a particular cause." This statement

    There are numerous legitimate cases where access to these "anonimyzers" are very nessecary. Students, just like anyone else in the world, may wish to use anonymous e-mail services to inform employers, supervisors, or other school officials to situations where a student feels unsafe, but would fear reprocussions from teachers, school administrators, co-workers, or other students.

    This is very similar to the current "whistleblower" protection statutes in the federal law books desgned to protect individuals from reprocussions from reporting threatening situations to superiors or government agencies.

    Another legitimate use of "anonymizer" services is to protect ones' self from Unsolicited Commercial Email (better known as Spam). Anonymizer services my be employed to hide from programs that gather e-mail addresses from the internet and fill mailboxes with spam.

    Children, and students, and people in economically disadvantaged communities are going to be hurt by this law because they won't have the ability to keep their privacy on the internet.

    "For the benefit of the children" is being used to push this bill through, but I am asking "for the sake of the children" that you oppose HR 1486.

    Thank you for your time and consideration,
    ... (Of course I put my real name here... though I think it would be just as good a statement if I didn't.)
  • I wonder what an e-mail would be like from a Congressman...

    From: Rep. Someone

    be it sent by the e-mail system on my computer...


    To write an e-mail to a friend of mine in order to establish the question posed in Section II(b).

    William Bennett, found by the Congress Subcommittee of Relationships to be a friend of myself, as stated in the Subcommittee's congressional report in 2001 under the 106th Congress.

    (b) CONTENTS
    To ask whether or not William Bennett received an e-mail from myself concerning the question posed in the previous e-mail (subsection c), or if he again accidentally deleted my e-mail.

    sent three days prior to the contents of this e-mail, asking why William Bennett always accidentally deletes e-mails sent, and whether or not he and I are true friends or if he is taking advantage of the fact that I am on medication and it could therefore be easy for him to get money from me.

    The conclusions of this e-mail will be rendered upon reply to this e-mail, with the exception if this e-mail is deleted as the other e-mails, in which case a new e-mail will be rendered and e-mailed inquiring about the previous e-mails not e-mailed back by the e-mailer.
  • by Fat Rat Bastard ( 170520 ) on Friday May 18, 2001 @11:00AM (#213187) Homepage
    Rep. Grucci just passed two of the ways of determining if your congressman's an idiot.

    1. Give your bill a "cute" name: Who Is E-Mailing Our Kids Act.
    2. Give your initiative a "cute" acronym: Hands Off Our Kids (HOOK)

    Politics: The last refuge of the nincompoop!

    If you don't have anything nice to say, say it often.

  • by Sinjun ( 176671 ) on Friday May 18, 2001 @10:40AM (#213189)
    This may be slightly off topic, but this irked me.

    Did you think Tauzin might represent a predominantly Cajun district in Louisiana, and would thus consider French as an appropriate language to use on his web site?

  • Elect politicans who won't take it.

    But I agree, pretty depressing. :-(
  • Never say "the fact is that if you did not vote, then you really cannot complain."

    Sometimes, shoot, most of the time, it really doesn't matter which idiot is voted into office. There is only one group of people who cannot complain about their politicians and they are the ones who voted for those elected. You put him there, deal with it!

    Nor do I believe this because I don't vote. My method of voting is quite simple. If they are incumbent, they get voted OUT as it is obvious they didn't do the job they were hired to do. Either they didn't argue hard enough or they didn't argue at all and stupid laws got passed and we all have to suffer for it.

    Want to do something about the political situation? Don't just write your rep or your Senators - become a Candidate and replace them. Next year, all the reps are up for renewal. Let's try to put an entire new House in place.
  • Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that Michael has forgotten that the U.S. does not have an official language.
  • by Sodium Attack ( 194559 ) on Friday May 18, 2001 @01:18PM (#213196)
    The gist of the allergations is that Bush is completly corrupt. He received 50 Million dollars in bribes^H^H^H^H^H^H 'political donations' from US energy companies, and has just given them 5 Billion dollars of subsidy back.

    The problem is that this is true of politicians in both of the major parties. And the two major parties have successfully fooled the majority of Americans into believing that there's actually a significant difference between the two, and thus most Americans won't consider a third option.

    As long as people say "Republicans may be bad, but Democrats are even worse, so I'd better vote Republican," or vice versa, this system will continue.

  • by mgkimsal2 ( 200677 ) on Friday May 18, 2001 @04:00PM (#213200) Homepage
    Per my reading of the text (not complete, but not finished yet either) the authors don't spell out what constitues 'anonymous' access. If I send you email from, that's a name, but seems pretty 'anonymous' to the receiver. Will schools have to block access to Yahoo! and other services?

    "...require schools and libraries receiving universal service assistance to block access to Internet services that enable users to access the World Wide Web and transfer electronic mail in an anonymous manner. "

    OK, wait...

    " enforcing a policy regarding anonymous Internet connection that includes the operation of a technology protection measure with respect to any of its computers with Internet access that prevents use of such computers to access an online privacy service that enables a user

    `(I) to send electronic mail anonymously; or

    `(II) to access the World Wide Web anonymously;

    What I'm seeing here is that they want schools to prevent students/users from accessing anonymizing services. Hardly the 'who is emailing our kids act'. This is far more 'don't let our kids even think of being able to anonymously do ANYTHING on our systems' act. Perhaps a valid piece of legislation, if you consider what liabilities schools may have for who's using their equipment. But PLEASE - let's get the motives right here - this isn't PROTECTING children at all - it's preventing them from anonymizing their actitivies.

  • If I can get that domain name? It's starting to look like I'll need it...

  • While driving home from work last week, I was searching up and down AM radio and started listening to this program. The host's name was Dr. Laura. I'm not sure what field her degree is in, exactly, but she seemed to be a pretty smart person.

    I expected the typical right-wing AM Clinton-bashing, but this was a little different. The host was dealing with personal issues that affect all of us from time to time. What was interesting was the moral basis she used to give advice. Now normally, I reject "morality" arguments out of hand since they are rarely backed up by logic. Doing the "moral" thing is usually a front for, "Do this because the Bible/Koran/Buddha says so."

    But the good doctor went a little further. She was able to present a rational basis for morality. In fact, while I did not care for her tone, I had a hard time refuting her logic. This troubled me a little bit.

    So now I find myself in the curious position of questioning some of my knee-jerk reactions. Maybe a lot of "morality" has roots in logic. Maybe keeping kids from looking at Pr0n in the library is not a bad idea. Strip away all the "Bible tells me so" stuff, and there is a legitimate secular argument, too.

    The fact that so many pro-censorship supporters are religious fundamentalists does automatically preclude a valid secular argument. Indeed, we owe it to ourselves to consider these arguments.

    Besides, if you stop these kids from posting as "Anonymous Coward", they'll just become sporks.
  • It still amazes me that these people that are supposed to represent the population are some of the most ignorant beings on this planet. I assume most of these people went to college, don't you think they would have learned how to do research in order to become informed about an important topic. Now I know every slacks off a bit about being informed but why is it ok to do this when you are making decisions that affect the entire country. I have no problem with them have opinions or gut feelings on what should be done, but why not read up on it a bit and learn something. Sheesh, you would think we were in the stone ages and people can't read and write or something.
  • Ah yes...nothing like watching greed consume congress. Interesting how large companies can sway representatives to introduce a bill for damn near anything (currently legal or otherwise), yet the entire userbase of Napster couldn't get anything out of their reps other than "Sorry, Napster is facilitating illegal activity".

    Yeah yeah, -1 Overrated. I know, I know...
  • Who elected the congress?

    Therein lies your problem, not the congress but the people they are elected by. Of course it helps if education is given a low priority by congress.

    America does not have a democracy, rather it elects it's ruling class. Is this any better than the ruling class being decided by birth? Given the proliferation of father/son politicans it seems America is heading back to that as well.

    The old axiom about power corrupting is true, take a look at /. to see this on the micro scale.

    So stop whinning about how stupid congress people are. Start thinking about a solution?

    Personally I think the US is heading for a turmultuos time, should be good fun to watch.
  • You /. libertarian freaks don't see what's happening to our nation's children. Slowly, little by little, we are seeing moral decay in this society. And it can be stopped so easily. The solution is right in front of us.

    You see, communist web sites have been created, and are ensnaring our nation's children, in order to subvert and impurify their precious bodily fluids. Through the use of aggressive web filtering like the one proposed by this red-blooded congressman, we can keep this evil communist plot at bay and reclaim our nation's children.

    I fully support any laws, or militia-led infiltrations, that will protect our children's precious bodily fluids.

    Thank you for your time.

  • Well. I mean, did it take them that long to figure it out? This has been an open secret since the primary ...

    And, actually, what he's doing is putting in his downpayment for his relection campaign in 2004, which will start collecting money by year-end. So, it's not like he sold out 5 billion in subsidies for 50 million, he's looking for at least 250 million, as those dividend checks come in to the shareholders.

    However, luckily for us, all his attempts to sell out our privacy rights are for nought, cause the Europeans are successfully taking on US multinationals one by one and forcing them to adopt their data privacy rights.

  • The text *should* say HR 1846. NOT 1486

    The link is ok, tho...

    So remember everyone to get the right number when you mail (don't use e-mail, it won't REALY be read) your congressmen...

  • Very good summary of the main stream legislative process up there in DC. As Senator McCain put it, campaign financing has evolved lately from the good ol' bribery and corruption thing to plain bare-naked extortion. "Gimme money or I'll push a law that gonna be a pain in your rear end". Geee...

    The funny thing is that this evolution sometimes benefits to fairly honest people such as McCain who never had a problem to raise money from the IT industry since he got the chairmanship of the commerce committee. Everybody's a donor because they know that no one will be able to buy him. So, if they got screwed, at least, they know it will be equal opportunity screwing and not selectively based on insufficient campaign contributions ;-)

    Still, it's sad that power in DC has become exclusively a nuisance power. When one thinks this nation walked on the Moon 30 years ago.

    PS: Yeah, I have a bias for McCain even if his opinions on abortion are plain stupid.
  • by cavemanf16 ( 303184 ) on Friday May 18, 2001 @11:35AM (#213239) Homepage Journal
    a last-resort measure that has been abused to the point where no one takes it seriously anymore

    Like it or not, and I certainly don't, this, "protect the children" is not overplayed. In fact, I would say it's more prevelant and usefull in today's society than in any other point in history. It's how we justify gun control, pr0n control, freedom control, and politically correct speech. I find it very hypocritical that today's society uses "ban the violence in video games, it teaches kids bad things" arguments to control things, and yet they scream for "freedom of speech", and "freedom of choice" when it comes to abortion and pr0n. You don't think abortion harms kids? It keeps them from even being born! It's taking a living thing's life away (even if you don't agree that a fetus is human yet at that stage, it is still a living cellular organism) plain and simple, but if they make it past that stage, we don't want them to learn how to harm life forms by playing violent video games. Go figure.

  • by Anne_Nonymous ( 313852 ) on Friday May 18, 2001 @11:15AM (#213245) Homepage Journal
    Perhaps, but I think he can pretty much kiss-off the catfish vote next election.
  • by melquiades ( 314628 ) on Friday May 18, 2001 @11:41AM (#213246) Homepage
    Actually, you don't need to look to something as radical as logic to see the source of Dr. Laura's allegedly moral objections to porn.

    It turns out that her attacks on the American Library Association and pornography in libraries began, by a strange coincidence, shortly after some amateur porn photos she'd done [] during an extramarital affair in the 70s leaked onto the net (search on "Dr. Laura Naked" to find the uncensored version). She sued over the photos, but the suit was dropped []. Interestingly, the porn company that bought the photos also brought a lawsuit [] against the amateur sites which posted them. There was a great interview with the guy who took the photos which I'm afraid I can't find. He talked about her "sleeping her way to the top" of the radio industry.

    Whenever somebody takes the moral high ground in attacking others, I immediately suspect them of doing the same. "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone," as I'm sure Dr. Laura herself would quote.

    See also the Stop Dr. Laura site [] for further amusements.
  • There is an article [] about this on zdnet. Also a quick search on campaign money and Tauzin turned up some interesting things as well. Check out the Washingont Post.

    Also buried within this article [] is a discussion on how Tauzin and a couple of others are getting big money from the telephone industry.

  • If I had known about this last November, and I had noticed the Congresscritter section in the voting booth (it was off to the right, while Pres and 3-4 other questions and such was on the left), I would have voted against him.

    For those curious about his constituancy, he represents pretty much the heart of the SE Louisiana swamps. I'm living in a decent neighborhood where most of the people around have decent/cushy jobs at the Lockheed's Avondale shipyard and Shell's Norco refinery, but the only real thing of interest around here other than swamp, swamp, and more swamp is the new Super Wal-Mart, complete with the 9% sales tax our state and parish are kind enough to impose on us. (With taxes that high, you think the roads and such would be in better condition. One has to wonder where all that money goes...)

    For an idea of what kind of guy Tauzin is, a few months ago around tax time, ABC's nightly news had a bit about the various scams people use to get around paying for them. They mentioned that even one Congressman is known to be using one. Now, out of the 535 members of this current Congress, can you guess which one it was?

    Unfortunately, that's the way Louisiana politics and politicians work. Whoever ran against him last year probably wouldn't be all that much better.

    And finally, he seems to be one of the many Congressmen that don't read their e-mail, even from constituants like me.

  • by Magumbo ( 414471 ) on Friday May 18, 2001 @10:56AM (#213254)
    part of Grucci's "Hands Off Our Kids" (HOOK) initiative

    Grucci decided not to call it the "Hands Off Our Kids, E-Revolutionaries" (HOOKER) initiative, due to lobbying by several groups including "White House Organization for the Reform of Education" (WHORE) and the "Science, Learning, Understanding and Teaching Society" (SLUTS). Members of WHORE and SLUTS were worried that they might become associated with the HOOKER initiative, which both groups do not support.

    "Fuck your mama."

  • by dinivin ( 444905 ) on Friday May 18, 2001 @10:43AM (#213259)
    I agree... It was extrememly arrogant of Michael to say that Tauzin has forgotten that he lives in the U.S.

    Heaven forbid we should acknowledge that there are speakers of other languages in the US.

  • "They use privacy sites on the Internet to anonymously contact one another and recruit our children."

    So if I understand this right, these evile people, who can just as easily email from HOME to a remailer will be secure in thier anonymity, but the children, who may be doing thier emailing at the local school library will NOT be anonymous?

    It looks to me like these congressmen are actually being lobbied by the "radical organizations" so that those pesky kids can't hide thier real names from them anymore. Good call, congress, way to keep our children safe.

Promising costs nothing, it's the delivering that kills you.