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United States

US' Capitol Hill on the Internet 132

Anguirel writes "Wired has a few stories from the Hill. First up, ICANN gets a hearing before the House to answer questions about proposed fees. Next, House Majority leader Dick Armey denounced the UN e-mail tax saying it's just the UN being greedy and trying to profit from the Internet. Finally, Y2K conspiracy theories gained some credibility as a conference on the President declaring martial law was held by the US Reserve Officers Association. "
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US' Capitol Hill on the Internet

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  • It's funny how the US objects to paying UN taxes - the U.S. government doesn't even bother paying its membership fees for the UN.... Maybe if the dues were 180th of the total instead of the ridiculous amount it actually is and has been since the UN's inception ...

  • > what posessed Clinton to pass executive orders (laws the president passes to cirvumvent the normal checks and ballances system) that allow him this supreme power

    That tale's been going around since impeachment days. I heard it from a good friend who used to have a brain before he started earning enough money to fall under the Republican spell (now he'd sell his grandmother into slavery for a tax cut). According to him, the president "passed an executive order" that would let him declare martial law and take over the government if he was convicted.

    Stop and think: if a president wants something that the Constitution doesn't allow, can he just write an executive order to set the constitution aside? Do you think abortion would have stayed legal throughout the Regan era if that trick would work? Do you think Clinton would be haggling with the Republican Congress over how to spend the (as yet imaginary) surplus? No, some president long ago would have "passed an executive order" that let him ignore the Congress and the courts.

    Either he has the legal right to declare martial law or he doesn't; but if he doesn't, he can't just obtain that right by saying he wants it.

    It might be useful to remember that not all the world's FUD is targeted at Linux.

  • Posted by Lord Kano-The Gangst:

    >These looney right types would be sad if they didn't have so many guns ...

    In this world the real loony is the man without a gun.

    Why must we get political here again?
  • ...well, spoken^H^H^H^H^H^Hwriten but you are fogecting something it is not the pres. alone. that is he needs help. and Y2K look threating enuff.

    nmarshall
    #include "standard_disclaimer.h"
    R.U. SIRIUS: THE ONLY POSSIBLE RESPONSE
  • Nobody's treading on their right to free speech.... as far as I'm concerned I want the conspiracy nuts to scream as loud as possible so I can see them easily and give them a wide birth.

    Being "fringe" has nothing to do with free speech... its their specific "fringe" beliefs that we're attacking. Just because someone exercises their freedom of speech doesn't mean we have to give them ANY credibility whatsoever.

    As for being part of a fringe group by visiting slashdot, I'm proud to be a minority in this country (just take a look at what is played on television to see why I distance myself from the majority).

    Fortunately, I can back up the things I say with two things that these people lack: rational thinking and facts.
  • I find it interesting the number of government, quasi-government ond international bodies that actually think they have some authority over domain names (and the number of individuals who think they're right).

    DISCLAIMER: I'm not saying anything about ICANN here (yet), but feel free to take this as a bash of WIPO, NetSol, the Clinton administration, etc...

    DNS is set up by convention and volentary adherance to RFCs published by the IETF. The many parties involved volentarily go along with this because it's already in place, standards in general are a good thing, and peer pressure to do the right thing. This is as it should be.

    If our current DNS system gets FUBARed by the powers that be, there is no law saying another system can't be put online by the people and businesses that use the net. Anybody with a big enough server can run DNS as long as they don't interfere with the operation of the current system. I can serve the domain www.aint.Igreat if I choose to. You can configure your system to use my server if you want to (just set your named.conf to consider my server authoritative for the .Igreat zone)

    There are a few of those now, and a few Wins and other resolvers that can be accessed as well. They remain fringe servers because they're too small to handle a large load, and not everybody can access them. That could change if the current DNS gets FUBARed. The current system has no basis in law, and new systems are not prohibited (or prohibitable).

  • Party starts early, huh? =)

  • I am in the Army myself, so this topic hits home for me. There is no way in hell that the thousands of military members would attack their own country. It just wouldn't happen. Even if foreign troops were brought in, how far do you think they would get? The united states is not like europe, A LOT more people have weapons here, not just the military. The military along with any civilians defending their homes would be a very tough defense. Unless you are not willing to fight, which would greatly reduce your odds of survival. The real thing to look out for is gun control and similar laws. One of the first things Hitler did was to confiscate all firearms.
  • I agree that I'd be in favor of having a highly moral, respectful, dedicated - or even a lying cheating womanizer - like Billy C. in charge than I would a "jack booted thug". Probably because a weasel like Clinton would not be as effective in his repression as someone more focused on getting the job done right. Having been "detained" in a police state many years ago, I believe that any totalitarian regime is a pretty scary thing . . . even one run by an ass like Clinton.
  • Youch, sounds pretty creapy to me.

    To quote Jello Biafra, "Welcome to 1984"
  • This article was nothing more than a collection of paranoiac statements by either (a) dyed-in-the-wool conspiracy theorists or (b) those who stand to gain politically from the vilification of current power holders -- in this case, Republican congressmen (and you can bet the Dems would do the same thing if the seats were reversed).

    Community breakdown? If we have it, it will be a short-lived panic by the militantly ignorant. If you're that worried about it, take a two-week cruise over 1/1/2000 or go sit on a beach somewhere. By the time you get back, life will be normal -- and there won't be a bunch of troops marching through the streets.
  • by gavinhall ( 33 )
    Posted by patg:

    They'd tax the air we breathe if they could...
    They always argue that "oh, but it's only one cent per 100 emails... that's not that much..." and try to instill some sort of guilt about being greedy.

    As soon as there's a tax in place, it'll just go up and up, always with the same argument - it's incrementalism at is best (worst).
  • Let's face it -- those of us doing interstate orders and not getting charged tax from fatbrain, cdnow, and the like have known that we're getting a free ride. Sooner or later, some form of sales tax was bound to drop down on us out of DC. To be honest, I expected it to come earlier in Clinton's presidency sometime, before Newt came to his brief-lived power.

    But the martial law nugget is simply ridiculous. If you truly believe that all computerized transactions will fall apart, and that people will forget how to use a pencil and paper to take an order, deposit a check, or write a letter, then you've truly forgotten the ingenuity of the human spirit. People continue to go on with their lives. There won't be a run on food (unless the conspiracists get too vocal and scare everyone into storming the stores, like what happens in the South just before a hurricane hits the land), there won't be problems getting your $$ out of the bank, and /. will still be online after the big 2000.

    Just my Y2K-proof $0.02...

  • Notes from a Smug Canadian

    The story about people's fears about martial law was almost amusing. I mean, the people there were spinning scenarios and the author didn't really work to counterbalance that, unless mentioning the person reading the Roswell book was supposed to do that. I don't know anything about the organization that held the conference, but, geez ... I mean, how much credibility is added to the idea that "the big creep" might declare martial law by this story?

    Sorry, you'd see mobilization of troops well before New Years Eve anyhow. Clamping down on the US is not a small operation -- even with all the weaponry at the disposal of the military, I'm sure the Michigan Militia will be able to save us all. Failing that, there's always Michael Moore as a backup.

    But, 'tis almost the silly season ...

  • There was none of this talk of limiting the powers of the executive... when RONALD REAGAN was President!

    What, Reagan was President? And he did stuff that should have had him impeached (or was criminally ignorant of same), and it didn't have to do with his member, and ..?

    Man, and here I was thinking that had been a dream. Those Demmycrats sure have dropped the ball. Or they didn't have a wave of millennial hysteria to surf in on. Offtopic note: as Professor Gould over at Harvard has pointed, out, Dennis the Short, on whose calculations our calendar are based (yes, it parses right), got the big J's dates wrong and the popular millennial mark actually occurred in '96 or '97. Besides, we're nowhere near a millenium with the Jewish calendar.

    Well, with Screaming Lord Sutch (sp?) dead, who should run the U.S. Monster Raving Loony party? Oh, yeah they've found him already, "W." =)

  • doesn't the US Reserve Officers Organization realize that bringing:

    An obviously ultra-partisan representative

    A founder of some fringe global paranoia group

    A conspiracy (albeit fiction) writer

    ..together at the same function would only lead to suspicion? I mean, if the USROA is officially sanctioned by the Gov't (as the Wired article would indicate), why on earth would they allow such a fringe lunacy to associate with the name? They're apparently an "eminently repspectable organization". Has the chair of the Org been dipping into the Agent Orange again, or something? Absurdities...

  • People are sane.
    Bad things don't happen in real life.
    Bad things that do happen are over with quickly, and only the bad guys get hurt.

    So stop worrying and treat yourself to a nice latte at one of your many local Starbucks.


  • Regardless of the political implications of Internet taxation, I don't see exactly how a government could technically tax e-mail. There would be of course no possible way for them to tax traffic on local networks (like intra-campus or intra-office email). But even outside of that, there's basically no way to tax just email. The government can't monitor the entire Internet. It is (as it was designed to be) distributed, not centralized. This isn't like the US Post Office, where everything has to go through a government agency. I'm not sure what this UN economist was thinking exactly... Anybody know more than I do about her proposition?
  • ..it only takes 2% of the people how have cash in the banks withdrawing that cash to cause our banking system to collapse...

    Don't think the government doesn't know that... the Treasury Dept. is printing money like crazy to help cover the rush, and there's always a possibility of a bank holiday to force the idiots to keep their money in the bank.

    I for one am going to proudly keep my money in the bank (as if I had enough to really worry about anyway :)

    Doug
  • The incident the poster was referring to is factual. This is what happened to Huey Newton (or was it Fred Hampton?) of the Black Panthers. They're both dead, assassinated Franco-style by the US government.

    Now, it's stupid to believe that the govt. is going to declare martial law simply because there is an opportunity, but its equally moronic to think it "just can't happen" because you believe the US is somehow different from every other society that came before it.
  • Think about this: UN was founded to be a tool of US policy, like Wilson intended the League to be. But then came widespread decolonization, and each of the former colonial powers wanted all its colonies in the UN to boost their influence. But the former colonies start voting independently. And the UN falls out of US control, and begins to try to function like it was rhetorically intended to function from the start.

    So, the US doesn't like it. It does like NATO, though.

    -Imperator

  • Anyone recall the Polaroid and KIA commercials a while ago dealing with Y2K? Ever wonder why you don't see them anymore?

    The American Bankers Association threatened both companies with both lawsuits and denial of loans. The ads got pulled.

    So if there's no possibility of trouble, why is the ABA kicking so much ass to prevent trouble?
  • "...with a beer in one hand,my woman in the other, and a .45 on my hip."

    How are you planning on drawing the .45? Sounds like you have both hands full already. ;)
  • If a bank holiday is used to "force the idiots to keep their money in the bank" it might inconvenience you. If, due to your foresight, you took money out to avoid the inconvenience of the bank holiday or the idiot-inspired bank runs, would that make you an idiot also?

    You seem to be making an argument for both idiots and non-idiots to withdraw some money... ;)
  • FUD = fear, uncertainty, and doubt.

    That's all. This article, or the group being reported on, was definitely spreading fear, uncertainty, and doubt. So you can use FUD here. You have my permission.

    There's no reason to restrict the definition, just because it orginated in the area of marketing.

    kmj
    The only reason I keep my ms-dos partition is so I can mount it like the b*tch it is.

  • Stop and think: if a president wants something that the Constitution doesn't allow, can he just write an executive order to set the constitution aside? Do you think abortion would have stayed legal throughout the Regan era if that trick would work?



    The abortion issue is a convenient stick with which to beat the american public. No president really wants it out of the headlines. In cases where the issue really is very important to the administration/congress, you'll simply see the laws/constitution not enforced and not talked about.
    Cases in point are the repeated violations of both the War Powers Act and the Wagner Act by both parties.

    If martial law was declared for real in the US it will not be called martial law. It will be "peacekeeping" or "disaster relief" troops posted in the cities. TV reports will show them handing out chocolate bars to little children.
  • about some underrepresented constituency that could be shafted without recourse. Bureaucrats are always looking for some way to get more power / money, no?
  • Did anyone follow the USA Survival [usasurvival.org] link in the article? There was a bit on the page.. "Student Pledge to the Earth". Apparently this group has a problem with children pledging at school:

    "I pledge alliegance to the world
    To cherish every living thing
    To care for Earth and Sea and Air
    With Peace and Freedom everywhere

    recognising that people's action towards nature and each other are the source of growing damage to the environment and resources needed to meet human needs and to ensure survival and development.

    I pledge to the best of my ability
    to help make Earth a secure and hospitable
    home for present and future generations."

    Is this such a bad thing to teach elementary school children? Okay, so the document has a UN logo at the top. But a logo means next to nothing when compared to the message contained in the writing itself. If the UN followed the pledge on the paper, would it be such a Bad Thing?

    They also talk about how they believe the UN is, by putting its name on some national parks, going
    to restrict access to parts of the USA for the purpose of "safeguarding the natural resources, including plants, animals and things, that are the province of 'gaia', the earth spirit."

    And they call this "ominous". Be scared, everyone. The UN won't let you tear down the national parks because they'd like to save some trees and animals. This is a CONSPIRACY AGAINST THE AMERICAN PUBLIC!

    .... No. No, no, no, no NO. If you destroy all the trees for big business, what's left? a barren concrete wonderland. Yippie. No animals, no plants(except the random shrubbery-island in the middle of a concrete ocean, that is), no life.

    "This is the battle today because America is in danger of losing what our ancestors fought and died for. " ..."Freedom, Independence, and Sovereignty. "

    Wouldn't global peace, harmony, and prosperity immensely please the long-dead souls of the founders of the united states? Tolerance and all that? Working together for a better future? The -real- founding ideals of the states. I'm pretty sure they weren't meant to just apply to a bunch of white people living on one large chunk of land on the planet. One can't be "selectively tolerant". You're either tolerant of all, or you're -not tolerant-. QED.

    ...There's plenty more, I'm sure. Just picking up on some of the bits that stood out to me.

    .end political rant/commentary.


    .ad.

    ARA [aranet.org] - fighting fascism everywhere
  • by kmj9907 ( 20499 )
    What happened there?
    That's what I get for not previewing!
    must've forgotten the r in my break tag

    kmj
    The only reason I keep my ms-dos partition is so I can mount it like the b*tch it is.

  • Hey! This is the first time I've ever heard any American that states their country is *equal* to other countries. Think of it... America, on par with Canada, Sweeden, and Burundi both ecomonically and in population! :)

    I'm a proud Canadian, glad to see my Canadian tax dollars going toward paying our *full* amount every year and keeping places like Bosnia, Crete, and the Golan Heights from turning into another Kosovo... funding good programs like UNICEF that feed starving human beings.... but that's another rant.

    I believe the American's UN debt stands a billion dollars. For the booming US economy, that's chump change. Heck, Canada could come up with that money if we really had to (It would be about 1% of our budget, and yea, 1.5bln CDN is a big chunk but it's a one time payment!)

    Insead the Americans point at the UN, and say it's inefficient, bloaded, and ineffective. It's not really worth the money. The claims about its inefficiency are justified, but geez, look at what they're trying to do! Get hundreds of countries together that don't even speak the same language to stop from killing each other on a weekly basis. People in their twenties today don't have a real idea what real war is even like... An ounce of prevention saves a ton of bomb. A hard lesson for a lot of us to learn.

    The UN was a good first try. Just like trying to do a software project with no specifications. You have to try first to see what you really want, then start over again from scratch with good design docs, cut out the functionality that wasn't required, and start again.

    Sometimes I sit up at night and dream niavely about a more trim, efficient UN and what it could do to really change the world. Stop hunger, disease, resolve bitter conflicts with the resources to back it up. It would cost a lot of money. How much? Perhaps 100 billion a year? That's a lot, maybe $500 a year spread out amongst worldwide taxpayers. But look what we could do with that! But it's too expensive, even though the Americans must spend that much every year on beer.

    On the other hand, if there is no hope, and humankind's differences can't be resolved no matter how much the effort, lets just nuke the planet now and get it over with...
  • The army may not fire on it's "own people" (Kent State), but would they fire on "gangsters", "child molesters", "communists", or other undesireables that happen to be born in the US?

    "Today men, we are going to machine gun an army of preverts in the Oregon state capitol! They are engaged in all kinds of ungodly preversions in there. Do not be fooled that they look like college students, Universities are just hotbeds of preverted activity."
  • Now you repeat this:

    Everyone is out to get me.
    Good things in life are just cover-ups for bad things.
    Good things that do happen are rare, and only happen to other people.

    So keep worrying and lock yourself in your nice, safe backyard bomb shelter.
  • Let's not forget about Abner Louima...another "accidental police shooting" (ex'-uh-KYU-shun) in NYC recently. Four NYC cops burst through a man's door and fired 41 shots, hitting him 29 times (lousy hit-miss ratio, by the way) and killing him. The guy was an immigrant, unarmed, not charged with or suspected of a crime. WTF??

    And people cry that we're paranoid.
    I hold it that a little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing...

  • Posted by Lord Kano-The Gangst:

    DOH!

    My bad.

    LK
  • Little known fact... If you doubt me, take a look at the flag behind prez. C. You will notice a nice little gold braid all the way around it. For those people who know flag protocol, it means Martial Law.

    From what I understand Martial Law was declared back in the early 1900's and just never repealed. So since it already is in effect it would be eaiser to do something about it...

    I personally don't think Y2K is going to be the end of civilization. Just trying to share some facts.
  • Posted by Lord Kano-The Gangst:

    I can drop the beer. Or let go of the woman.

    LK
  • Because it makes them look bad - problem or no problem.
  • Sorry, Louima was the gentleman who was arrested by NYC cops who then unceremoniously rammed a broom handle up his...um...nether regions. Another fine example of how to "Protect and Serve".

    The guy I wrote about before is Amadou Diallo.

    Sheesh. There are so many textbook examples of F#@%ed up government actions, it's hard to keep them straight.
    I hold it that a little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing...

  • Posted by Lord Kano-The Gangst:

    >You're referring to crimes of individuals within an organization... not the organization itself.

    They have never been punished either by the BATF/Dept. Of Treasury or any DA. These abuses are routine, normal, and accepted by those in charge.

    Virtually every crime is committed by individuals. The entire board of directors of a company are still individuals when they take part in criminal activity together.

    Even John Dingel (a democrat by the way) called the (B)ATF a bunch of Jackbooted Facists back in the early 80's.

    This is nothing new.

    LK
  • Money in the bank? I'm not getting any WheresGeorge [wheresgeorge.com] hits while it's in the bank! No way.

  • except that with FEMA and various Executive Orders over the years, not to mention the Emergency Powers Act (various years, I forget), the Executive branch now (under declaration of a National Emergency ) has the power to annex any and all property, infrastructure, etc., and suspend the Constitution for up to six months.

    And there isn't a thing Congress can do about it.

    And for those of you that say the Judicial branch can declare this unconstitutional, let them. They have no power to enforce their decisions.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The 911 system in Pueblo, CO was rolled ahead to the new century. It failed, and has to be replaced, NOW. It's the AT&T system that everybody uses. There isn't really any sort of reasonable replacement. You don't want to know what would happen if the rabble were cut off from emergency services. It wasn't worth a /. heading. Tough for you.

    3/4 of our oil is refined at Houston TX. The plant mgrs haven't even started looking at the embedded chips that control the refineries. Imagine there's no gasoline...

    Railroad switches are entirely computer controlled, not a single manual one in the entire country. Southern Pacific, loser corp that it is, hasn't even begun to inventory its embedded chips. Pretty hard to run a railroad without switches, and even harder to get coal to the electricity generation plants.

    The usual level of intelligence of /. prevails, but you're out of your league once you start spitting on military personnel.


  • The citizens also have the right to rebel should this be done badly. The soldiers also have the duty to disobey an order they see as illegal.

  • Can we say "Hyper Inflation"?? That could cause as many problems as a bank collapse. Wouldn't you just love a mexican economy, go to the market for bread in the morning because it will be more expensive if you go in the afternoon....

    It's not quite that simple. They aren't just printing money to have more money in the economy - that would cause inflation. They are printing currency to cover the amount of money that is already in the economy. All of these bills get distributed through the Federal Reserve system so that if there is a bank run, people can easily convert their "virtual" money (the numbers you see on your bank account) into hard (well, paper really) currency. But if there isn't a bank run, they'll probably end up destroying the extra bills that were printed, or saving them for the next time that this might be a problem. So the worst case scenario is that we all have lots of $$$ under our mattresses, but prices should stay about the same.

  • It would take 2% (or whatever the figure is) of money withdrawn to matter. If the 2% of the people who withdrew only had .1% o fthe money, it wouldn't be so bad.

  • Wake up!

    There's been so much hype over Y2K issues that the less-informed public is just as likely to panic over a minor disturbance as not. Of course the government is reviewing declaration and deployment scenarios; to not do so would be grossly negligent. This doesn't mean that they're planning to use martial law; it means that they're being sure that they can if it's necessary. Capische?

    I find it amusing to hear so many people concerned over a power that has been available to US Presidents for decades. I'm betting that, should disaster or panic strike in their area, these same people will complain that martial law wasn't declared fast enough or enacted efficiently enough.

    --j, who only tries to please some of the people some of the time
  • Let's not forget about Abner Louima...another "accidental police shooting" (ex'-uh-KYU-shun) in NYC recently. Four NYC cops burst through a man's door and fired 41 shots, hitting him 29 times (lousy hit-miss ratio, by the way) and killing him. The guy was an immigrant, unarmed, not charged with or suspected of a crime. WTF??

    For one pedant point ... or probably not because I'll misspell his name: you're thinking of Amidou Diallo, not Abner Louima (who was beaten and sodomized with a broomstick by some of NYC's finest). And the jackbooted thugs in question (both times) were local dudes promoting Hizzoner Giuliani's politeness scheme.

    Every time I hear people clamoring for law and order I think of how RG has done that job. So, mind you, did Ayatollahs Khomeini and, at least until recently, Khameini (again with the spellings; my apologies).

    The point (and, like Ellen deG, I do have one) is that these examples are localized; I agree with the general sentiment that "law and order" regimes^h^h^h^h^h^h^h administrations generally have this kind of worry behind them, but the abuses usually seem to be localized (yes I have heard of Ruby Ridge, Waco, and the Freemen). When the issue is a national "fell-swoop" takeover by the nations' own sons and daughters, forget it, ain't gonna happen -- here I cite not only Waco, but other sagacious /.ers.

    What worries me is the long, slow, corporate takeover. Forget jackboots, think pinstriped suits. Every morning, the news show I listen to breaks in with copious amounts of information about the stock market and large businesses. Social well-being seems to be equated to financial health, which seems for all intents and purposes to be measured by how much the top 1% of income earners make and how good they feel about the economy. But then, that makes this post redundant, and I don't want to be known as "Jeremiah," so I'll end it here.

  • OK, and never mind the extra six or seven commas in the same sentence. I only had one cup of coffee when I wrote that =)
  • And before 1949, of course, our government had perfect respect for the liberty of its citizens. Just ask anybody who, in those days, was:
    trying to organize a union
    African-American
    Japanese-American and living in California
    female and aspiring to work in a primarily male profession
    gay




    I was only referring to this particular portion of our nations laws. I in no way implied our government was wonderful and benign before that time. There have always been horrible problems with government in general by its very nature.
    If you wish to deiscuss labor or racial laws and policies before 1950 we can do that somewhere else.

    Kintanon can be reached at Sleffer@hotmail.com
  • Posted by Lord Kano-The Gangst:

    Deal with the issue at hand AC. Ad Hominem attacks do not help your position here.

    LK
  • Kind of like LA Law, but the DC version
  • Luckily, while the congress cannot stop the president, the people can. That's the purpose of the 2nd amendment; to guarantee that the people always have the power of self determination.

    Should the big jerk declare martial law, and
    should the brass follow his orders, and
    should the foot soldiers follow their orders...

    There are going to be many people in the states dusting off grandpa's old shotgun.

    Unless, as a nation, we are so impotent that we won't. In which case, we deserve martial law.

    -George
  • Don't think the government doesn't know that... the Treasury Dept. is printing money like crazy to help cover the rush, and there's always a possibility of a bank holiday to force the idiots to keep their money in the bank.

    I for one am going to proudly keep my money in the bank (as if I had enough to really worry about anyway :)


    Can we say "Hyper Inflation"?? That could cause as many problems as a bank collapse. Wouldn't you just love a mexican economy, go to the market for bread in the morning because it will be more expensive if you go in the afternoon....

    Printing more money is NOT the answer to this problem. I'm all for letting everything go to Anarchy, I'll be spending new years with my girlfriend and my family in Georgia, in the woods, with our Garden, our well, and our hydroelectric generators.

    Kintanon can be reached at Sleffer@hotmail.com
  • If your superior officer gives you an order, you follow it. If his superior officer gave him an order, he is following it. and so on and so on all the way up to the president.

    It's true that the military is trained to follow orders. However, their oaths are not to the President or Congress. The military is sworn to uphold the U.S. Constitution, the same as the President and Congress are. Now I'm not saying that any of these groups aren't above bending the rules if they can get away with it. But we're a long way from the military slavishly following blatantly treasonous orders from the President (especially this President - he's not highly regarded in military circles, in case you hadn't noticed).

    The president has unlimited power for his term in office. He has the power to FIRE the people who can remove him from office via constitutional channels. He can even suspend the constitution.

    If the President can fire the people who can remove him from office, do you really think we would have had a near-impeachment a few months ago? Congress can remove the President, and the President couldn't do anything to stop them. Now that the independent counsel law has expired, the President could fire anyone appointed by the Attorney General to investigate him, but the independent counsel law didn't exist when Nixon was president and he was still impeached. A President who fires someone because they are investigating on behalf of Congress is going to be more likely to be impeached, not less.

    The President definitely cannot suspend the Constitution. Yes, the President can declare martial law, and I suppose a really bad apple could try to take over the country by doing so. But even that use of force would not suspend the Constitution - in fact, I'm not sure how any group could suspend the Constitution. I suppose it could be done by a constitutional amendment, but that would require the agreement of both Congress and the states.

    Do not fool yourself. Learn the constitution and the laws.

    Perhaps you should have taken your own advice.

  • I have to say that I find it extremely hard to believe that any of this martial law stuff is going to happen. In the event of major floods or other natural disasters, it's perfectly reasonable to call out the National Guard, no one flips out and says that Clinton is trying to impose martial law. I suspect that these are mere contingency plans...
    Also, this whole UN world domination thing is ludicrous. There are people who flipped when the UN declared the Statue of Liberty a World Heritage Site, as they twisted it into a UN invasion.
    The UN is not going to take over the United States, folks. Sorry to burst your bubble, but it just isn't going to happen.
  • I'm not sure if you're referring to the U.S. debt to the U.N., or just the U.S. debt in general. I don't know about the back debt to the U.N. I did hear on the news the other day that the U.S. annual contribution to the U.N. was supposed to be around 300 million dollars. The source who was being interviewed mentioned that this was less than 1% of the U.S. budget. To be fair, the interviewee was a member of a pro-U.N. organization.

  • Posted by Lord Kano-The Gangst:

    >If the President can fire the people who can remove him from office, do you really think we would have had a near-impeachment a few months ago?

    The VP and the cabinet can remove him from office without any type of trial or hearing.

    He can fire the entire cabinet. He could have fired Ken Starr. We didn't have a near-impeachment, we had an impeachment. He just wasn't convicted.

    Actually Nixon DID order the people investigating him fired, a couple of times. It was two reporters who got the goods on him because they couldn't be fired by him


    >The President definitely cannot suspend the Constitution. Yes, the President can declare martial law, and I suppose a really bad apple could try to take over the country by doing so.

    Perhaps I was sloppy in my wording. The president can suspend constitutional rights by declaring a state of emergency, or rebellion.

    I'll post the exact sections that I'm speaking of tomorrow if you'd like.

    LK
  • Martial Law is a scary thought. A couple million stupid people is a lot scarrier though. These people are working themselves into a frenzy of paranoia. Don't get me wrong, I always distrust the gov and large corps when it comes to my personal safety and well being. BUT - I still am most worried about a bunch of morons freaking out Dec. 31 and doing great harm. I have a party to throw and I don't need all these distractions!! The biggest fear for Y2K should be legacy databases and a champaign shortage. Instead I have to worry about militias and nutballs trying to protect me from something that IS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. You may read this and think I am being naive about Prez Clinton and the Pentagon, if that's the case I think you are being naive about the rescources required to enforce Martial Law. Most of the people who would be enforcing this are citizens, parents, children, and lots of other people who really don't want to kill anybody. Paranoia is the most dangerous emotion we can feel.
  • Some questions that maybe someone can actually answer me...

    1. Is today UN-bashing day?
    2. Is slashdot paid for redirecting slashdoters to Wired?
    3. What's more dangerous on y2k, paranoia or computer glitches?

  • You took the words right out of my mouth. Criminey, 30 people in some little kaffeklatsch get together to discuss their paranoid little fanatasies and this makes Wired news. What's next, the Keokuk Ladies Guild discusses the possible lack of coffee due to a potential power outage? Sheesh.

    Real geniuses, these. One of the attendees was scared because she was reading The Day After Roswell? No Soup for you! You a nutbar! Get out! A couple of Congressmen (probably lawyers) who have the technical ability of my cat. Some looney lawyer. This is a group of people we care about? Please.

    If you dig a little in the ROA's site [roa.org], you'll see a recommendation from none other than Strom Thurmond, Lover of Life and Liberty himself. This seems to be a collection of military hardcores. A group that would love to see the "King" kicked out of office. Nice impartial group to spilling this kind of FUD.

    I would like to ramble on about the loonies in the House, but I stopped myself. This is just the same bunch that thinks flag burners are dangerous to the country and the 10 Commandments will save school kids from automatic weapons.

    Nuff said. Nothing to see here, just give 'em a little room and they'll just tire themselves out.

    Chris

  • by Anonymous Coward
    I'd rather have Billy C. declare martial law than some crackpot militia with a thinly veiled racial agenda.

    Whenever I read some redneck gun nut ranting about jack-booted thugs and black helicopters I always wonder if perhaps he's only jealous.
  • Regardless of the logistics or martial law or the willingness of our inept president to enact it, the Office of the President DOES have the right to take out houses, cars, guns, etc. Round us up into camps, take complete control over all private property and goods when they feel necessary. The real kicker is that congress is PREVENTED from stoping this.
    Yeah, it's far fetched and probably will not happen, but what posessed Clinton to pass executive orders (laws the president passes to cirvumvent the normal checks and ballances system) that allow him this supreme power. Even it no one uses this power, why the hell does he HAVE that power?
    It's just kinda scary in genneral that these laws exist.

    FinkPloyd
  • by Anonymous Coward
    >>why on earth would they allow
    >>such a fringe lunacy to associate...

    Haven't you heard of that little thing called freedom of speech? One person's fringe is another's mainstream.

    It's easy to dismiss some group as "fringe", but
    that doesn't address whether their views are valid or not.

    To put it into Slashdot perspective, consider that many people consider Linux users and Open Source advocates to be somewhat on the "fringe." It makes a convenient excuse for marginalizing their beliefs.

    Do you really want to go down this road?
  • I belive that on ocation they do declare martial law, but it usualy is in the wake of a huricane or something and is over a very limited scope (A county or 2) and for a very limited period of time. Now since the National Guard has to do the work of implementing this it does make sense that they would get people together to talk about from time to time.

    As for the net tax, It was proposed by the UN. The UN has no power to tax anyone or anything.

    As for the interstate tax thing that is not new with the Net. The same rules have applied to mail/phone order catalogs for a long time. My mother used to order stuff from LL Bean when I was a kid and never paid sales tax on it. And it does not appear that congress has a great intrest in adding a new tax at this point. Esp since we are running a surplus and they are trying to cut taxes.
  • Well, I sure the hell ain't praising Good ol Ronnie and his crack sellin, ex-CIA directin vice-pres George Bush, but Clinton sure the hell knows how to bomb the crap out of innocent people. He's had the highest rate of military activity in his administration since Nixon.

    And i though he was a peace candidate. Hell, I voted for him cause he was a draft-dodger.

    Oh well, that'll teach me not to vote libertarian!
  • It's funny how the US objects to paying UN taxes - the U.S. government doesn't even bother paying its membership fees for the UN....

  • The article failed to mention how many of the speakers at this conference were wearing aluminum foil hats (to ward off the mind control rays from the UN Black Helicopters that follow them around...)

    These looney right types would be sad if they didn't have so many guns and managed to get a few of themsleves elected to Congress.
  • I'd be ticked off if the US Govt wasn't. Think about it. If they weren't making the preparations, and the need arises (heaven forbid) that they would need to declare martial law, they'd be in trouble.

    I mean, if they prepare for it, everyone gets scared. If they don't prepare for it, we think they're unprepared and everyone gets scared.

  • I believe the American's UN debt stands a billion dollars. For the booming US economy, that's chump change. Heck, Canada could come up with that money if we really had to (It would be about 1% of our budget, and yea, 1.5bln CDN is a big chunk but it's a one time payment!)

    Would that it were, it is in fact 3-5 trillion if I remember correctly. Our yearly deficits may have been measured in billions. This year, we apparently hae a surplus that we NEED to squander instead of getting out of debt.
  • I am in the Army myself, so this topic hits home for me. There is no way in hell that the thousands of military members would attack their own country. It just wouldn't happen. Even if foreign troops were brought in, how far do you think they would get? The united states is not like europe, A LOT more people have weapons here, not just the military. The military along with any civilians defending their homes would be a very tough defense. Unless you are not willing to fight, which would greatly reduce your odds of survival. The real thing to look out for is gun control and similar laws. One of the first things Hitler did was to confiscate all firearms.

    Define "Attack". Is "Attacking your own country" opening fire on the confused and angry mob that is throwing stones and stuff at the troops because they THINK they are being attacked? Is it opening fire on the looters who are trashing the local Best buy for free TVs? Is it rounding up everyone and keeping them in one place for their own "protection"? Which one of those would you refuse to do if ordered to? Who needs foreign troops when you can convince your own troops that they are saving the citizens from themselves.

    Kintanon can be reached at Sleffer@hotmail.com

  • Posted by Lord Kano-The Gangst:

    >They are predominatly 18-24 year olds, who just got over missing their mommies and have no desire to destroy the U.S., their home, by the way.

    In the military they are trained and conditioned to obey the orders of the man with the funniest looking insignias.

    If your superior officer gives you an order, you follow it. If his superior officer gave him an order, he is following it. and so on and so on all the way up to the president.

    If President Clinton orders that as a part of basic training every private in the platoon must chew the same piece of bubble gum for one dan and pass it to the next wo/man it will be done. Stupid or not, that is the way it works.

    Just about 3 years ago they surveyed Marines to find out if they'd be willing to fire on American citizens in the name of gun control. Why would they even ask this question?

    Let us ignore for the moment that it's illegal to use the military for domestic law enforcement. Why would they want to?

    The president has unlimited power for his term in office. He has the power to FIRE the people who can remove him from office via constitutional channels. He can even suspend the constitution. Understand what is possible. Then decide what is likely.

    It is most likely that y2k will be just another date in history without much ballyhoo. However things that are not probable are not necessarily impossible.

    Do not fool yourself. Learn the constitution and the laws.

    LK
  • We interrupt this program with a special bulletin.

    America is now under martial law.

    All constitutional rights have been suspended.

    Anyone caught outside the gates of their subdivision sector after curfew WILL BE SHOT.

    Remain calm. Do not panic.

    Your neighborhood watch officer will be by to collect urine samples in the morning. Anyone caught interfering with the collection of urine samples WILL BE SHOT.

    *shiver*
  • I don't know. We as Americans seems more than ever ready and willing to sacrifice our rights in the name of "safety". After all, just allow the govenrment to take all our guns and promise they will protect us, take all our privacy because only evil people would have to hide anything, and we will be at the mercy of a government that no one in their right minds would trust :)

    FinkPloyd
  • The point (and, like Ellen deG, I do have one) is that these examples are localized; I agree with the general sentiment that "law and order" regimes^h^h^h^h^h^h^h administrations generally have this kind of worry behind them, but the abuses usually seem to be localized (yes I have heard of Ruby Ridge, Waco, and the Freemen).

    One word is the key to distinguishinging between a basically decent system tainted by occasional abuse on the one hand and a corrupt system characterized by abuse on the other. That word is "consequences".

    The cop who raped Abner Louima is (according to what I recall from recent news accounts) in prison, where he belongs. Lon Horiuchi (the Ruby Ridge sniper) and Larry Potts (the issuer of the death order) are free to walk the streets, where they manifestly do not belong.
    /.

  • Hmm...the only group with the power to institute some sort of eugenics program would be the government. Now, considering the morons of dubious ethics that end up in most elected (and probably non-elected too) , do you really want THEM to be deciding anything having to do with a eugenics program?

    Now THAT is a far scarier thought than any Y2K-related panic.
  • Last I heard, it was the *total* US debt that was about 5 trillion. I don't know what the US debt to the UN is, but I'm sure that with the economy as good as it is, it wouldn't be a big deal to raise the money. But instead, our esteemed politicians feel the need to play politics rather than actually accomplish something (like paying off those debts that we've accumulated). Every Congressman's gotta try and fund his pet project, which are usually unnecessary and of no use to the general public. Even when the Democrats and Republicans aren't far apart on an issue, they'd rather do nothing so they can point the finger at the other party next election.

    And so, our UN debt continues. And we look like a country of idiots who are too damn cheap to pay our UN tab.

    I bet if we took 50 random Slashdotters, put them in a room and told them to solve the country's problems, we'd get a lot more done than the US Senate has gotten done in the past several years. Hell, you could probably take 50 random people off the street and still do better than the government...at least the people off the street would be looking to do the right thing rather than trying to further a political career.

    Enough rambling for one night. I gotta work tomorrow :)
  • I don't think the UN was really created to be a tool of US policy. Just basically to stop the world's countries from starting another World War. Two was quite enough for everyone, I think. The US didn't want to have to go through that again, and neither did the Europeans or anybody else. Hence the UN. The structure of the UN, particularly the Security Council (where most of the real power is) made it impossible for the US to use the UN as a tool (Russia, China, Britain, France, and US all have veto power. How often do they all agree? It doesn't get a whole lot rarer than that!)

    As for why the US doesn't like the UN sometimes, look at the genocide in Kosovo. The UN wasn't doing a thing (in large part due to the Russians, who support Serbia and have veto power). If NATO hadn't stepped in, there might not be any Kosovar Albanians left. The UN is supposed to prevent genocides and such from happening, but it's too slow and ineffective. Trying to get any group of people to agree is difficult, and trying to get a bunch of stubborn diplomats who all have veto power in the Security Council to do so is nearly impossible.

    The UN is useful as a place for countries to vent their frustrations. Sort of a group therapy for their countries' collective egos. Helps keep everyone calm and not marching off to war. If you can keep everyone occupied doing nothing but talking, then they can't fight each other. Problem is, while they're doing nothing, they're not dealing with the world's other problems. Like Kosovo.

    And on those occasions where the UN actually does get its act together (like in Iraq) to do something, who ends up supplying most of the military force? The US, usually. Which makes the politicians wonder why we're paying the UN so that we can fight the UN's battles. They don't see that while the UN has plenty of problems, it's better than nothing.

    Still, the UN demonstrates why we still need to have groups like NATO around, particularly for regional problems...less size == less beaurocratic crap == faster, effective action.
  • by Kintanon ( 65528 ) on Thursday July 15, 1999 @08:34AM (#1800784) Homepage Journal
    These laws have been around for a very very very long time under certain disaster laws enacted around 50 years ago, about the same time the gold standard was removed and welfare was created.

    Also, for those of us who are economists you should know that it only takes 2% of the people how have cash in the banks withdrawing that cash to cause our banking system to collapse. There is FAR FAR more money in the world than actual currency. So if 2% of the population decides to be on the safe side and pull their cash out of the Stock Market and Banks, then we have an economic collapse.

    Also, these "fringe" people aren't going to be reacting to the problems, they are going to be causing them. A lot of people believe that Y2K is going to be the end of the world, a huge disaster, or something very very close. So they are going to go crazy on new years eve and cause a lot of the problems they fear. Can you imagine having a few hundred thousand people in each city who are primed for the end of the world, and the power goes off for 45 minutes because of an ice storm or something? Or the power goes down for an hour because of some obscure Y2K problem... anything could be enough to turn those people into a raging paranoid mob bent on looting and burning the city. That sort of situation would easily convince me to delcare martial law if I were president, and with everything working so much more efficiently without Congress, well... why bother to lift it? Just boot congress and get a REAL "government" going!

    What I'm talking about isn't exactly far fetched if you know a little bit about human nature, and if you have ever worked in phone tech-support you know how paranoid the average idiot is if something he/she doesn't understand happens.

    Kintanon is reachable at sleffer@hotmail.com
  • Ah, excuse me, but where do these ideas come from? Too much TV and movies I think. Believe it or not, the military is NOT made up of a bunch of unthinking, uncaring war mongers and pychopaths. They are predominatly 18-24 year olds, who just got over missing their mommies and have no desire to destroy the U.S., their home, by the way. And as far as the top brass is concerned, they really can tell a dumb order from a sound one, and you can bet, that if the President were to make a dumb order the commanders in charge would make sure that it was carried out "soundly".
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Perhaps we can expect to see NASA consulting Astrologers to fix launch dates, or "UFOlogists" as upper-atmosphere traffic controllers.
    Hang on a moment, I'll call the 'Sightings' producers to bring in their army of Feng Shui practitioners to ward our nation against inauspicious flows of water that might prolong Y2K rioting. Better yet, we'll have Peter James contact dead government officials from the last turn of the millennium to determine what is the best course of action to quell the terror of the ignorant masses.

  • >>why on earth would they allow
    >>such a fringe lunacy to associate...

    Haven't you heard of that little thing called freedom of speech? One person's fringe is another's mainstream.


    The USROA is an organisation. Thus, it would seem to reason that they are fairly unified on certain ideas, beliefs, ethics, etc. To have these people there would make it quite easy for the average joe to rationalize and equate the USROA with such beliefs.

    I'm not treading on anyone's right to speech. But I hardly think that the conspiracy theorists speak for the whole of the Association, and am quite surprised that such a collection of characters was brought to speak and/or attend a meeting at this apparently highly-reputable group.
  • While there does exist a slim chance that martial law may be established in the US, taking away certain freedoms, it's much more likely that ICANN will succeed in taking away individual rights worldwide.

    Among the topics being considered by ICANN? Whether or not individuals (as opposed to trademark owners) should be allowed to own domain names. Whether or not domain dispute policies should require court proceedings, with the loser paying all fees. Whether the domain name in dispute should be turned over to the trademark holder before the dispute resolution process is completed.

    And all of this is being decided by a group of non-representative, non-elected lawyers, businesspeople, and others who stand to gain financially from such decisions. to this date, they have refused to allow a constituency of individual, non-commercial, non-organizational domain name owners to have representation in their proceedings.

    The working groups deciding these issues are chaired by hand-picked members of the Domain Names Council, instead of elected by the members of the working groups.

    The Domain Names council is stacked with officers of ISOC, CORE, and advisory board members from the gTLD-MoU advisory boards, all of whom have a decided financial interest in the outcome of certain decisions.

    Decisions are made without any form of formal voting procedure, without regard to fairness, and without consideration for the group's lack of legitimacy and adequate representation. They are attempting to ramrod through a set of decisions before their own mandate requires them to replace the appointed officials with elected ones.

    And they're doing it all in the name of the "net community".

    Check the DNSO website [dnso.org] to find the archives of the various mailing lists where this is occurring.

    Check this link [songbird.com] for a statement in which the chair of the gTLD-MoU proposes capture of the DNSO.

    Check the Individual Domain Name Owners [idno.org] Constituency page if you'd like to get involved.

  • Neither do many other countries....

  • Sounds like some members of Congress are trying to rile up some good old FUD about Clinton declaring martial law. Think about it, when they get enough people convinced that the president is going to go crazy with his power, they get enough support to pass an amendment further limiting the president's power, and not coincidentally increasing their own.

    However, this isn't necessarily a bad thing, if the president *does indeed* have too much power, that's why we have the Legislative and Judicial branches to knock him down a notch. If Congress does that and in turn gains too much power of their own, well then there's the other two to take it away.
  • At least Y2K might wipe out the equipment beaming those damned instructions into my molar. Th' ahn righ' erah.
  • They've been threatening a tax on mail order stuff for a while -- this would simply enforce that same tarriff on stuff ordered over the 'net. Simple, really, they're looking for another way to (as George Carlin would put it) "bend you over and insert their big floppy..."

  • He can fire the entire cabinet. He could have fired Ken Starr. We didn't have a near-impeachment, we had an impeachment. He just wasn't convicted. Actually Nixon DID order the people investigating him fired, a couple of times. It was two reporters who got the goods on him because they couldn't be fired by him

    As I said, the President can fire investigators now that the independent counsel law has been allowed to expire by Congress. But before it expired (which was within the last couple of months, IIRC), the President could not have fired Ken Starr. I wasn't aware that Nixon had fired investigators, but I imagine that his actions led directly to the independent counsel act in the first place. Now that it has expired, we'll probably wish we still had it someday.

    It's true that the President can fire some of the people who could have him removed from office, (namely those in the Executive branch which you mentioned) but he can't fire all of the people who could remove him - for example, Congress. I'm sorry if I read your original post incorrectly; I understood it to mean that the President could fire any and all threats to his remaining in office, which is not correct.

    It's true that there was an impeachment this year - I was incorrect to call it a near-impeachment.

    Perhaps I was sloppy in my wording. The president can suspend constitutional rights by declaring a state of emergency, or rebellion.

    That I can agree with that - for example, Pres. Lincoln suspended the right of habeas corpus (show cause for imprisonment) during the Civil War. He probably suspended other rights as well, that's just the first one I thought of. I won't argue with that interpretation; I just don't think it's correct to say that the President can suspend the entire Constitution. No one can unilaterally do that.

  • Posted by Lord Kano-The Gangst:

    >I'm sorry if I read your original post incorrectly; I understood it to mean that the President could fire any and all threats to his remaining in office, which is not correct.

    My fault, not yours. I was sloppy in my wording.

    LK
  • "Big Brother is Watching", that pretty much says it all. In '1984' (the book (of movie)) the government controls everything. In 1999 (the year) the gvernment trys to control everything.
    The UN E-mail tax (while almost impossible to implement) would be terreble, the US was built on freedom and liberty, not taxes and the UN!!!
    That's my 1/50 of $1.00 US
    JM
    Big Brother is watching, vote Libertarian!!
  • when they get access to gov documents - it's like someone finds the local fire dept's contigency plans to deal with a fire in the neighborhood, then they go around yelling that gov is planning to burn their house down.

    Don't panic.

    Chuck
  • Posted by Lord Kano-The Gangst:

    >I'd rather have Billy C. declare martial law than some crackpot militia with a thinly veiled racial agenda.

    Racial agenda? There are a few out on the extreme right who have a racial agenda, the vast majority do not. J.J. Johnson is a very bigwig in the "militia community".

    >Whenever I read some redneck gun nut ranting about jack-booted thugs and black helicopters I always wonder if perhaps he's only jealous.

    Do you call a black man who says the same things a redneck? Other than jackbooted thugs, what do you call it when government agents kick in someone's front door, stomp on their pet kittens, slam pregnant women into walls, and beat unarmed men?

    Jackbooted thugs sounds rather accurate to me.

    I live in an area where about 2 years ago there were black helicopters flying about and there were widespread reports of gunshots. Later the Army claimed that during a training excersize they played the sounds of machineguns firing through loudspeakers to add realism. I have no idea what they're doing but they are doing SOMETHING.

    Your ignorance and apathy are astounding.

    LK
  • Exactly. Significant parts of the infrastructure of our civilization are so fragile and precariously balanced that they cannot withstand even unfounded fears from a minority "fringe" element. This is not good design ;) and puts all of us who understand that secondary problem on the fringe as well.

    Those of you who have done extensive analysis of the Y2K-related technical problems may see big problems or not, depending on where you looked and the assumptions you worked under. If you looked *only* at the original technical problems, however, you may well have underestimated the magnitude and misdiagnosed the nature of the Y2K situation.
  • These laws have been around for a very very very long time under certain disaster laws enacted around 50 years ago, about the same time the gold standard was removed and welfare was created.
    And before 1949, of course, our government had perfect respect for the liberty of its citizens. Just ask anybody who, in those days, was:
    • trying to organize a union
    • African-American
    • Japanese-American and living in California
    • female and aspiring to work in a primarily male profession
    • gay
  • Posted by Lord Kano-The Gangst:

    At this precise momend in time I will be at a new years eve party with a beer in one hand,my woman in the other, and a .45 on my hip.

    I too think that the major danger of y2k is the lunatic fringe who have decided that *something* big is going to happen with y2k. And if it doesn't they're going to make something happen.

    I don't particularly care about the ordinary moe, but I'm making it home that night.

    In a situation like that martial law may or may not be warranted but it would most likely be used. In a situation where you've got end of the world freaks and the mindless drones of the military facing off, I definately don't want to be unarmed.

    LK

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