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Censorship Your Rights Online

George W. Bush Vs. Parody Site 138

Bob Kopp writes "According to an article in Monday's Washington Post, Texas governor and presidential candidate George W. Bush is attempting to shut down a campaign parody site. " Read the full article - it's not an open and shut matter. Some noteworthy other links as well - An Al Gore Parody, as well as some choice quotes from Pat Buchanan.
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George W. Bush Vs. Parody Site

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  • Wow! I'm amazed that politicians actually know what the internet is... over here in Inkylnad, they're still trying to push the 'one computer in every classroom' ideal. I doubt if they even know what the internet is!
  • After reading the article in the Washington Post, I went to www.gwbush.com looking for some good pr0n sites. What a ripoff! There aren't any pr0n sites linked there... bummer! ;)

    Eric
  • Politicians place a lot (aka ALL) of there value on how the public percieves them. They spend enormous (actually, let me restate that, disgustingly huge) amounts of money in keeping this picture in the eyes of the unknowing public. Big smile, bad breath.

    Now, someone makes a parody of that. It would be in the politicians best interest to 'nip it in the bud' (no, i did not just say that).

    On the other hand, it is our government given right (1st amendment) to mock and sneer at all politicians.

    So this is a blurry line as to where it becomes slander and where it stays free speech.

    --
  • Satire is one thing, but conducting an active political campaign -- even if it's against a candidate is another -- and that's what this guy seems to be doing. He's actively soliciting (monetary) contributions, and has no prominent disclaimer.

    I can see why the FEC is interested.

    Zontar The Mindless,

  • If gwbush.com uses photographs lifted directly from the official site, then Bush has a legitimate gripe. But as for this ridiculous claim that he should operate as a political committee: that's just a blatent attempt at making the decision to try and shut the site down more palatable. Is Gary Trudeau a political committee? What about the editor of Comic Relief? The nation's -- nay, the orld's -- stand-ups?
    As far as I'm concerned, I'd like to see the author of this site remove any photies that he's appropriated, and then tell Bush to go and shite.
  • ... it will soon pop back up on a hundred tiny mirrors near you (and also far From you, for that matter. Indeed, how are they gonna pRoSecuTe abroad?)
  • Surely not, after all our Tony has had Bill G. come over and explain it to him ;)
  • The Bush people missed the Clue Trolley on this one -- or perhaps they got run over by it.

    People are always drawn to controversy. Is some religious group protesting a movie? Watch attendance soar. Is some group of middle class neo-fascists trying to censor an album? Watch sales set new records. (Pun intended)

    If the Bush people wanted this site to get attention, they succeeded.
  • by pb ( 1020 )
    That's pretty funny. Silly politician attacks obvious parody site and ends up looking stupid. We need more of this. Everybody don't vote, and maybe we'll have anarchy, just like the web.

    My take on the 'copyrighted images on the web' -- good luck. Once you put an image on the web, *everyone* has to make a copy of it just to *see* it. So what are you saying, no copying? Sounds impossible to me, you'd have to have a special license or something for your images. And if I had my browser view the same image, from the same site, on a different page, is that okay? What if I change the HEIGHT and WIDTH tags? Did I change the image? Or is someone else responsible, if they look at my page? This may sound stupid, but there are a lot of issues here that need to be worked out.

    So when is slashdot gonna get rid of that nasty off-green color? The next time we get an article about slashdot, I'm posting about that, a lot...
    ---
    pb Reply or e-mail rather than vaguely moderate [152.7.41.11].
  • I see no requests for monetary contributions on the gwbush.com site.
  • This is old news. Bush has been attacking that site for months now. The site is the primary reason that the Bush campaign registered all domain names that could be used against him, i.e. www.bushsucks.com [bushsucks.com] (just one of many). His quote "There ought to be limits to freedom" is very scary indeed. What would he do if he actually had the power to limit freedoms ??
  • IANAL, but I believe parody is considered fair use of copyrighted materials.

    Remember that copyright also extends beyond things like photographs to the overall look of a work, logos -- just about anything other than the factual content. If the mere fact of an element being copyrighted means you can't use it is a parody,then the only parodies that would be legal would be those that in no way resemble the originals.

  • Actually, it is _NOT_ our government given right to mock and sneer at all politicians.
    It is our NATURAL right to free speech (the 1st amendment is merely the written acknowledgement of this, see Federalist Papers and writings by Jefferson), however, there are some limits to what we can and cannot say, publicly. As long as you are not printing/saying libellous or slanderous remarks about someone, you are in the clear, otherwise, look out.
    IANAL,BIPOOTV
  • I do not argue that this site is a great satire, according to the true definition of the word:
    1 : a literary work holding up human vices and follies to ridicule or scorn
    2 : trenchant wit, irony, or sarcasm used to expose and discredit vice or folly

    But read the article, and see why Bush is trying to shut it down:
    Bush's lawyers had warned Exley that he faced a lawsuit for his Web site's use of photos lifted from the copyrighted official Bush campaign site.


    The Bush campaign also filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission, accusing Exley of violating election laws and demanding that he operate under the rules and regulations of a political committee
    Just to play devil's advocate, I have to agree (in theory, but not in principal) with those statements. I'd been to gwbush.com before, and saw it as much more of a political statement site than a humor or satire site. I feel the political nature of Exley's site definately falls within the second of GWB's points. And I'm not even going to start the flamewar over whether copywrights on websites are moral or no.

    But, to stop playing devil's advocate, I'm pretty much entirely anti-government and anti-government-intervention. I personally think it's pretty "weak" that GWB would try to shut down any site. But, I can't argue with the two points that his lawyers are making... at least there's a somewhat valid reason, and they powers-that-be are not just shutting down the site for no good reason [slashdot.org].

    ---------
    Question: How do I leverage the power of the internet?
  • The First Amendment is, first and foremost, designed to protect political speech. Bush's approach, irregardless of being against a twit like Exley, is wrong, trying to get the fascist FEC to smother independent political sites with regulations. A real conservative (hell, even just someone who can think two steps ahead) would have had the good sense to ignore the site and not draw publicity to it.

    The last thing we need to do is add to the FEC's power. Restricting them to just making sure that candidates (and parties) list their large cash donations immediately on the Internet, as Steve Forbes would do, and leaving the independents alone is the right way to go. I'm a little less clear on the rest of the Republican candidates stands on campaign regs, but I doubt they'd back Bush on this one either (certainly not Alan Keyes).

  • pb (pdpaylie@eos.ncsu.edu) wrote:
    "My take on the 'copyrighted images on the web' -- good luck. Once you put an image on the web, *everyone* has to make a copy of it just to *see* it. So what are you saying, no copying?"


    There's a big difference between your browser making a copy of that image so you can see it and you posting a modified copy of that image for everyone else to see.

  • The best part of the article is all the attempts to find an "This is not a first amendment issue"-angle

    I hereby invite /.-ers to form the official top ten list of "Lame excuses to shut down a site I don't like"
    Some entries from this case:

    • There were links to pornographic sites on there
    • Because Exley (...) must be regulated as a political campaign committee, (..) if he's going to act like a political committee, he should have to reveal his funding
    • use of photos lifted from the copyrighted official Bush campaign site.
    • The offered (read: didn't explicitly say no when we asked) to take down/rename teir site, so they are just in it for the buck.
  • by briancarnell ( 94247 ) on Monday November 29, 1999 @02:32AM (#1497913) Homepage
    Although obviously GW would be able to take it to court, there are provisions in the copyright laws which specifically exempt parodies. Specifically: "the fair use of a copyrighted work . . . for purposes such as criticism [or] comment . . . is not an infringement . . . ," For example, 2 Live Crew clearly ripped off Roy Orbison's song, "Pretty Woman," and Orbison's record company sued, but the Supreme Court found in favor of 2 Live Crew in a 1994 decision based on the fact that it was a parody.
  • ...for lack of a better term: Bush's campaign management team are really shooting themselves in the foot over this one by not thinking through the perceptions they generate in going after Exley (the guy who did the parody site). Whenever you counterattack, never create a martyr or an underdog whose cause the press can trumpet. Not only are Bush and co. going to be perceived as trying to beat up on a little guy; they're allowing the Washington Post to call undue attention to a parody site that would've remained relatively obscure instead.

    Bush's "some freedoms...limited" remark is symptomatic of his hot-headedness. Plenty of us /.ers are liberal/libertarian enough that the freedom-limiting stance is anathema anyway, but I for one don't want a President who reacts to perceived slurs in this fashion -- he ought to save his temper tantrums for a punching bag in the office.

  • Parody counts as fair use, and so isn't copyright violation.
  • For the /. readers who live in the state of Texas let Govener Bush know how you feel about his attempts to shutdown this site at Govener Bush's web site [georgewbush.com].
  • by MAXOMENOS ( 9802 ) <maxomai@g m a il.com> on Monday November 29, 1999 @02:36AM (#1497917) Homepage

    The irony here is that George W. is the same guy who allegedly came up with the Willie Horton ad used against his father's opponent in 1988 -- and then released said ad against Dukakis via a political organization not officially affiliated with the Bush/Quayle campaign.

    Bush probably has a good legal case for shutting down this site, or having some of its content altered. But given his past history, he doesn't have much of a moral case.


    The Kulturwehrmacht [onelist.com]
  • Man, I followed the Buchanan link...
    I knew he was sort of a crackpot, but my god, how does someone like him rise to the power he has? That shouldn't even be possible. I guess it only goes to show how many backwards, close-minded, xenophophic zealots our freedom affords here in the good us of a.
  • I must disagree, copyright has its limit. This guy is not making some money or running some business. So it does not matter if he lifted the picture directly from the official site. He could have gone to a library, obtained some books, and scanned in the picture. Bush is not right technically, his words become public, his speeches become public, this is what he has to sacrifice as a politician. I know who I will not be voting for.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    There are two links on the main page, both point to here [onstagemedia.com]
  • I can't find anywhere he's asking for contributions, unless you count the fact he's selling T-shirts and bumper stickers. Care to post the link to support your claim?

    As for a disclaimer, are they actually required? Is a disclaimer a legal requirement? I don't remember seeing any on "Doonsbury" or SNL for that matter...
  • by Spazmoid ( 75087 ) on Monday November 29, 1999 @02:47AM (#1497923)
    Fact: The first amendment grants os freedom of speech.
    Fact: Political Parody has been around since before the first amendment.
    Fact: If Al Gore had been around we would have had an internet before the first amendment as well.


    I can see Bush's problems with this site but I think it would be prudent to at least first ask for a Disclaimer at the top of the page or maybe a splash screen stating that the site is politically motivated but is a parody of George Bush Jr.

    The site is pushing on a subject that I hold very dear to heart. The drug war and extensive imprisonment. Having an uncle myself that got ten years for dealing when he had never dealt before. He was trying to make money to support his smack habit that he had gotten back into after almost a year off. Read the get seriously pages on the site. Some snippets for your perusal:


    This all sounds impossible, but it is all true. For example, Lula
    Mae Smith of Mobile Alabama served 7 years in a federal
    prison beginning in her early 50's. Her crime? Her son was a
    drug dealer. The prosecutor never claimed that Ms. Smith
    aided her son in any way with his drug business. She was
    simply charged with "conspiracy" to distribute drugs with her
    son because he bought her a new car while he was a drug
    dealer. However, in 1989 she began serving a sentence that
    was cut short in 1996 only because of two stokes she
    suffered in prison. She is now on home release.


    Some More:


    Possession and use of illegal drugs such as cocaine are crimes
    Bush will not deny committing. Yet our whole criminal justice
    system is based on sending people who commit these crimes
    to jail for a very long time.


    And Finally:

    Gwbush.com, was born by accident. It was made famous by
    Bush's own hotheaded attacks against it. Now, with hundreds
    of thousands of readers per month, it is one of the voices in
    the presidential race. We would like to use that voice to alert
    people to this massive human rights violation being carried
    out by our government against our own people, and to force
    former drug user candidates to justify their support for this
    human rights violation in light of their own past drug crimes.


    Just as the first amendment gives us the right to free speech it does not give us the right to misrepresent ourselves. Lord knows there are some morons out there who think that site is Bush's and is gospel truth. I think it would be prudent to openly say that the site is not related to The real campaign but to destroy it completely hell no. The guys motives are admirable at least.
    Anyway I am running out of things to say so I will get off my soapbox.

    This post had attempts to be funny and informative. When both pluses get put together I will have a negative moderation score. 1+1=-2 :)

  • by Anonymous Coward
    The fact that this has a political point is what makes it satire rather than simple parody. Simple parody is what Mad magazine does - ridicule to no particular purpose beyond entertainment.

    Though not all satire is political, a great deal of it, good and bad, throughout history has been. Therefore, setting up a dichotomy between the satiric and and political is absurd. Aristophanes, Voltaire, and Swift were all highly political. As for how funny it is, well, that's pretty subjective.

    Therefore, this is political satire and exactly the sort of speech the First Amendment was designed to protect. If the mere fact that it expresses political opinions makes it a PAC, then I am a PAC right now, and so were you when you made that post. Admittedly, restricting PACs without restricting free speech gets tricky, but the first step is to know free speech when you hear it, and that is exactly what this site is.

    By the way, it is also "literary" in the sense that it uses literary devices: fictitious dialog, irony, imitation of other forms (pseudo press releases), allusion (it ironically compares George Dubyah to Henry David), etc. How good it is is a matter of judgement. Personally, I like it.

  • He made a big deal about a billboard in Austin advertising this website too. Its not a parody, but just some criticism. What a jerk!
  • I have a feeling that the Bush campaign really does see the writing on the wall--that this is satire and as such is protected free speech--and that what they are doing is seeking to get it taken down while the matter is "reviewed"; in other words, the Bush camp is fighting a delaying action in hopes the site can be taken off-line until after it matters.

    Satire is protected speech. I don't think that asking for a contribution makes gwbush.com [gwbush.com] a political action site any more than the Times [nytimes.com] is for asking you to buy a subscription to their newspaper, which openly endorses candidates.

    Nevertheless, Bush's team will make every effort to wear Exley down using every questionable--but still legal--tactic available.

    That's the real terror: that all you need to do to get your way against a not-as-rich-as-you person is to sic lawyers on them to the point that they must either capitulate or become bankrupt. I think he'll soon find some soft money in the form of pro bono legal representation against Exley. Maybe Exley's payme-link should point to his legal defense fund.

    --

  • if you'll notice that page slashdot's link points to, you'll see an 'o' in 'oindex.htm.'

    if you take out that 'o', it'll take you to a page where it talks about this fellow's idea for a 'new way' to fund political ads, and then links to a page where you can pledge a contribution (which an above poster has pointed out.)
  • Thanks. The link in the Slahdot story points to a different page. (oindex.html)
  • The copyright issue is just more IP saber rattling. The biggest threat is not that they would win in court, but that the suit itself would be economically damaging.

    Nor can this site reasonably be construed to be a campaign. They're not organizing or collecting money for or against Bush, it's just a guy stating his opinions in a way he thinks is funny and effective. The last I heard this was protected speech. Again, this falls into the category of "Abuse of Legal Forms" -- there's not a chance in hell that this guy could be found to be a PAC, but defending himself against this would take up enough of his time and energy that he'd be out of the picture for the forseeable future.

    I think you've got to wonder whether you'd want somebody so sensitive to criticism to be President. Whatever your political stripe, if you react this way to every yahoo who has something unkind to say about you and you're at best going to be ineffectual and at worst dangerous. Can you imagine Reagan reacting this way to somebody who made fun of him? Even if you didn't like Reagan (I for one was a detractor), the very idea seems absurd. Everybody was parodying Reagan, and I doubt very much he lost any sleep over it.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Try whitehouse.com . It used to be a political parody site, until they started making fun of the current resident (like there are any liberals who can laugh at themselves). BC leaned on the ISP, took away the URL, and now it's a p0rn0.

    Be happy.
  • Could the Bush campaign say that they were victims of a squater and get the domain name changed to something else?

    They have to allow satire.
  • below is an explanation for how this funding is supposed to work, taken from http://www.gwbush.com/ad1.htm

    ------------------------------------------------ --

    How the funding works: These ads will be funded using a no-risk system that only the Internet makes convenient. This
    website will gather pledges for contributions. Once enough pledges have come in to fund one TV spot, the money will be
    collected, the spot will be aired, and then pledges will be collected for another spot. When you pledge a contribution, your
    credit card will be validated but not charged. Therefore, you don't have to worry about giving to a project that isn't going to
    take off. If not enough people pledge to run even one spot, then you lose nothing. If enough pledges do come in, then your
    contribution goes to making something wonderful possible.

    To make a pledge click here.

    To volunteering to gather footage email us at: info@gwbush.com

    Press inquiries can be made via email to: info@gwbush.com or to 617-216-5688
    ------------------------------------------------ --
  • by Nato_Uno ( 34428 ) on Monday November 29, 1999 @03:09AM (#1497935)
    pvente wrote:
    His quote "There ought to be limits to freedom" is very scary indeed. What would he do if he actually had the power to limit freedoms ??

    There already *are* limits to freedom, as there should be. "Your right to swing your fist ends at the tip of my nose", as the saying goes...

    The GPL is a good example of something that limits freedom. In fact, RMS argues that it provides the *greatest* freedom by limiting the freedom of those who create derivative works. So the limitations the GPL puts on one person's freedom actually *protect* someone (possibly everyone) else's freedom.

    Let's not go overboard here. There's no reason to scream "Tyranny!" and riot because someone said something that's self-evidently true, even if it is unpalatable...

  • by hawk ( 1151 ) <hawk@eyry.org> on Monday November 29, 1999 @03:10AM (#1497936) Journal
    The Bush campaign did *not* originate the willie horton issue--it had been an issue (wiht ads) for one of Dukakis' democratic rivals. After Dukakis had the nomination, the Bush folks started using the formerly democratic issue.
  • The fact that Bush may have a legitimate legal gripe is really missing the point. The ability to laugh at oneself, to respond to criticism (founded or not), and to allow others to speak their mind is apparently beyond his grasp.

    Most often, the digs that really bother people are not the ones that are completely off base, but the ones that strike a little too close too home. Grow up, George.
  • by hawk ( 1151 ) <hawk@eyry.org> on Monday November 29, 1999 @03:16AM (#1497938) Journal
    I am a lawyer, but this is not legal advice.

    Essentially everything you say about copyright here is just plain wrong.

    Charging for the infringing use is not relevant.

    Scanning library books would violate the copyrights of the books' authors.

    "His words become public" has no meaning. Being a politician does *not* cause forfeiture of other rights. Besides, it's the pictures.

    hawk, who thinks slashdot needs a -1 counterpart for "informative," perhaps "just plain wrong."
  • I know the Willie Horton issue was raised initially by a Democrat; I believe (but could be mistaken) that it was Al Gore's campaign that used it first.


    Interested in XFMail? New XFMail home page [slappy.org].
  • George W. has me shaking in my boots. Here's a guy that everybody seems to love, and yet he has shown time and again that he has no idea what RIGHTS are about (*cough* flag-burning *cough*). I don't know about y'all, but for me no amount of overstating one's importance in the creation of the Internet oughtweighs the willingness to take away my right to free speech.
  • I had just asssumed that the link pointed to the root of the site - my bad.

    This puts a whole new slant on things, and seems to cross the line between parody/satire and political activism.

    "When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President; I'm beginning to believe it." -- Clarence Darrow
  • if you're concerned about how the presidential candidates feel about free speech, please keep in mind the gore's associations with .... oh crap. the name of the organisation just escaped me...someone out there will remember it. the "parental" group who went on a holy war trying to ban certain albums back in the 80's.

    neither the republicans nor democrats are looking very healthy for our 'rights.'
  • I agree that copyright material belongs to the copyright holder, NOT the jpg/gif holder. If an image is used without permission, and is not withdrawn or replaced after the holder complains, the site owner really can't go around holding the moral high ground.

    Really, this is what this whole fight seems to boil down to -- which idiot holds that beloved moral high ground.

    Truth is, there ain't no such place. Yes, if the owner of material has asked for something not to be used, the site has NO grounds for using it. Likewise, in a country that touts free speech, fair usage and fair comment are not only legal but protected by law.

    Personally, if this ever goes to court, I hope the judge finds BOTH sides in contempt of reality, fines them $1 each and sentances them to 3 months in a recovery program. I'd have more sympathy for either side if there was any sign that they'd quit messing around and conceeded that the other side isn't hell-spawn, out to destroy Life, the Universe and Everything.

  • by hey! ( 33014 ) on Monday November 29, 1999 @03:31AM (#1497948) Homepage Journal
    At the time of the alleged infractions he was just another guy with a web site where he vented some political spleen.

    Bush and his campaign forced this over the spending limit by deliberately and fecklessly bringing national media attention to his page. Then to top it off they tried to scare him away with legal and regulatory harrassment.

    Since he has to go through all the legal and financial rigamarole entailed, he has the choice of folding up or fighting back. What would you do if you were in his position?

  • IANAL, but I remember some copyright law. IIRC, parody is "fair use" of copyrighted materials so long as no more copyrighted material is used than is needed for recognition.

    This rule of thumb is what allows someone to make Spaceballs (an obvious rip-off of Star Wars, but not to (say) re-do the soundtrack of Star Wars to change all the lines to make it raunchy. The latter would still be parody, but would be too much use of original material.

    But putting Rick Moranis in a black suit with a big helmet that makes heavy breathing sounds is entirely, and legally, appropriate parody.

  • That was more of Tipper Gore's deal than Al Gore. It was during the Reagan administration.

    Parent's Music Resource Center.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The fair usage clause of copyright law includes satire. Thus, the use
    of copyrighted pictures is most likely legal.
  • Wow, your right. Look at how free the people in Chechnya are right now.

    And with freedom comes massive corruption and organized crime right?

    Of course I don't live in Russia or any of the former Soviet Republics so I don't know what it's really like there, I get my information from NPR and the Internet, but it doesn't look that free in Russia. Maybe for the AK wielding mafias, but not for anyone else.
  • hey! wrote:
    "They're not organizing or collecting money for or against Bush, it's just a guy stating his opinions in a way he thinks is funny and effective."


    Actually, as has been pointed out elsewhere, "they" *are* collecting money to run a TV ad, presumably *against* gwb. Granted, IANAL, but that puts "them" pretty squarely in the middle of what I understand to be "campaigning".

    If they're gonna run a political ad, they should have to play by the rules and publish their sources of funding. Otherwise it'd be *way* too easy for "someone" (*cough*Gore*cough*Bradley*cough*me*cough*) to fund the aforementioned ad for "them"...

    If we're gonna have rules about campaigning, everyone should have to play by them.

  • I knew he was sort of a crackpot, but my god, how does someone like him rise to the power he has?

    You mean it's not a requirement for becoming a highly placed, governmental official? I took that as a given, after Reagan's and Quayle's elections. One of the little drawbacks of winner-takes-all, TV-regulated democracy, I fear. Not that ours is problem-free, but as all our govenrments are coalitions by need, there's never any crackpot alone in "command", but a bunch of them, who disagree on enough issues to come to less insane compromises.

    "Any record of insanity in the family... Hmm, Lets cross out the 'in', and answer 'no'. That should do the trick." [Blackadder III, roughly quoted from memory.]

  • by Arkay ( 8440 )
    Actually, Tipper got Al to hold Congressional hearings on the matter, or something like that.

    And guess what people...

    There are limits to freedom. Once you come to realize that, then you will be much happier. :-)
    --
    Richard R. Klemmer
    WebTrek L.L.C.

  • Let's not go overboard here. There's no reason to scream "Tyranny!" and riot because someone said
    something that's self-evidently true, even if it is unpalatable...


    no, there's no reason, but there is plenty of reason now not to want to vote for someone like this. Anyone who would even think about restricting one of the basic freedoms of our country just because he doesn't like what's being said shouldn't ever be allowed in a position of power. The fact that it would be nearly impossible for him to get that freedom revoked, and pretty hard to get it restricted isn't the point (IMHO), I just can't believe he would have let that statement slip...
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I'm not a big Apple advocate. In fact, I hate the iMac-- it's the AntiChrist of computing, in my opinion.

    But when I read what ol' Bush is doing, I couldn't help but think of our favorite reality-distortion hero, Steve Jobs. Bear with me for a moment, the reason will become clear in a moment...

    A while back, TBS (or was it TNT?) ran a special called "Pirates Of Silicon Valley", in which both Bill Gates and Steve Jobs were portrayed in some pretty negative perspectives. Steve Jobs was seen as an acid-tripping, child-leaving, selfish bastard who didn't care what the hell happened to him.

    So, for the next big Mac conference, he got Noah Wylie (the dude who played Jobs in "Pirates") to give the keynote in his place. Quite an amusing hack-- a lot of people didn't catch on for a while. The stunt wound up giving him a ton of publicity-- Steve Jobs has a sense of humor! He had fun with it! This is unprecedented in the software industry!

    So, carry this over to politics. Yes, maybe you need to be more serious when you're running for a political office. Yes, maybe a site like gwbush.com is detrimental to Bush's campaign. But for the love of God, have a sense of humor about it. Don't advocate limits on free speech, and don't try to shut the site down. Show that you have a clue and say that the site is witty, clever, and well done-- even if it isn't. It'll make you sound like a nice guy, and that will help you get elected.

    As it is, though, Bush has lost my vote.

    Just my $0.02
  • i'm not certain that they've collected any money yet, though. what they are doing is collecting pledges, via credit card, which (supposedly) will not be charged until enough money has been pledged in order to produce the commercial.

    it's not clear, nor openly solicited (that i can find, anyway,) than any money is being is being raised for the running of the website...although perhaps the t-shirt/bumper sticker sales fall under this.

    so, while this fellow _may_ be violating campaign law by not making public any donors, he _may not_ yet be in violation of that law, if the money hasn't actually been collected. i'll freely claim my ignorance upon the intricacies of campaign finance law, though...
  • "There ought to be limits to freedom."

    There already are, much as we don't want to think about it.

    When was the last time you were able to...say, yell "Fire!" in a crowded theatre? What about making an assassination threat on the president?

    The question is not whether or not there are limits, because there will be under this system. The question is whether or not Bush is extending the limits unnecessarily.

    I'm as angry as the next /.er to see a leading presidental candidate advocate limiting satirical speech, even though the issue is fuzzy. We just need to keep in mind that this isn't anything new.

  • Correction: they weren't soliciting any money for anti-bush efforts.

    I doubt he would even have dreamed of collecting money and doing the political committee thing, but Gov. Bush's own actions forced them to get lawyers and other expensive things. At that point he had the choice of being a registered political committee or (as Bush obviously hoped he would) shutting down.

    Do you seriously think that this guy was breaking the federal election laws before Bush decided to whack him?
  • by Greyfox ( 87712 ) on Monday November 29, 1999 @04:17AM (#1497964) Homepage Journal
    Looks like Bush is all for the first ammendment, except when it comes to political dissent, where he suggests that "there ought to be limits to freedom." I wonder what other freedoms he'd seek to limit if he made it to office.
  • Note the irony that "xenophobic zealot" Buchanan is not taking any action against the www.buchanan2000.com site, yet the "mainstream" and "moderate" George W is acting as an enemy of free political speech.

    And what does an anti-Buchanan site have to do with www.gwbush.com anyway? Other than as an unpaid political announcement. I suppose in fairness somebody should provide the link to Buchanan's official campaign site [gopatgo2000.com].

    [Note: I am not a defender of all things Buchanan -- I would be a fool to try, as I really don't know that much about him, other than the bogeyman image he gets from the press, whom I trust about as far as I can throw. But just for fun, let me note that the observation that men tend towards obessive focus and drive, women toward generalization and relationship, and the relationship of this tendancy to modern capitalist enterprise is hardly new or unique to Buchanan. The War Between the States was not in the beginning about slavery, per the repeated declarations of President A. Lincoln (note that Kentucky, a slave state, and the slave territory of West Virginia stayed with the Union). This is simple history, and Buchanan is correct on that point. It is also worth arguing whether American involvement in WWII was good -- please note that FDR had set us on our course of supporting Britain against Germany in '38 and '39, well before German atrocities were known (or even begun).]

    I do profess to be impartial in the sense that I should be ashamed to talk such nonsense about the Lama of Thibet as they do about the Pope of Rome
    -- G. K. Chesterton, The Everlasting Man
  • PMRC (Parents Music Resource Center) is the name you're looking for..Tipper Gore was the first leader of this group that sought to monitor "offensive music", holding Congressional hearings and whatnot (Frank Zappa had some famous quotes at those hearings) Eventually, the music industry caved into their demands and started putting the "Parental Advisory Tipper Stickers" on albums deemed "obscene". Tipper dropped out of the scene at this point, around the 1992 elections. (Current PMRC members view this as a defection in order to get votes/money from the music industry.)

    The PMRC is still around and headed by "causemonger" Barbara Wyatt, who has a definite pro-censorship/regulation agenda towards the current crop of "obscene" music..to her, labelling is not enough. Although I didn't hear any PMRC clamouring for a banning of KMFDM/Rammstein type music after Columbine, I wouldn't be surprised if those two groups and other "nazi/nihilistic" industrial acts were on the PMRC "hit list"

    source:Rock Out Censorship [theroc.org]

    peace,
  • When you try to suppress something on the Internet, it just gets stronger. The horrible publicity created by the suppression attempts overwhelms any advantage suppressing the information might give -- because the information never really disappears. This is such a well-known principle nowadays that I'm amazed people are still trying to suppress critical web sites.

    The Church of Scientology cases are the most obvious example - the organization got a lot of publicity out of their ham-handed attempts to suppress information, and I'm sure in the end it lost lots more members than it would have if they had left the anti-CoS brigade alone.

    Now George W Bush is doing the same thing. It's a pity, since I was beginning to think he was a half-decent candidate even though I like Steve Forbes' positions the best. Well, good ol' Steve may be a wooden speaker, but he would never do anything this dumb.

    I think George W will get what he deserves out of this - he'll lose a ton of votes from people who would have otherwise been sympathetic towards him.

    His best damage control now is probably to heave a heavy sigh, pay the $ 80k for the domain name and hope the whole mess goes away. The only problem is that I'm betting the protestor will just grab a new name -- and now his PAC has enough money for at least one late-night TV ad, or a barrage of local ads in major markets or a full page ad in the Wall Street Journal or ... . A new domain name is just $ 70 and a little imagination away, and I don't think a "non-compete" agreement would stick in the courts.

    Big loss for George. Let's see how he handles it now.

    D

    ----
  • ...another parody site: Phrasemonger. Thanks for your attention.

    ------------------
  • -1? Redundant? I thought that was kinda funny!
  • The Civil War not about slavery? What the hell was it about? I'm sure you think it was about "state's rights"....to practice slavery! Lincoln refused to say anything about slavery because his goal was to preserve the union and eventually reincorporate the South, but Fort Sumter wasn't fired on over State's rights. As to whether it was good or not for the US to be invloved in WWII, thank God a person like Hitler hasn't risen to power today, for he would walk all over the world while people stuck their heads in the sand and tried to pretend he didn't exist. Hitler's atrocities were known before 1941, and Roosevelt fought an isolationist Legislature because he felt it was the moral obligation of the United States to defeat Hitler and the Nazis.
  • Didn't you already say this in msg #59?

    Looks to me like he's soliciting money for a television ad. Regardless of the reason, he states it pretty clearly. Don't sound like such a victim here.

  • I don't know about US law, but UK law's "fair use" clause woule protect him in this instance.
  • *sigh* That's right, I agree with you. And maybe if you read the rest of my post, you could tell me if *that* constitutes "posting a modified copy".

    In any case, if you have a license that forbids making copies, wouldn't even "your browser making a copy" be illegal?

    Just think about it for a while, my man...
    ---
    pb Reply or e-mail rather than vaguely moderate [152.7.41.11].
  • There are several things that need to be said here.

    First, Bush is absolutely right that there are limits on freedom of speech. For example, Bush could not put up a parody site accusing the programmer who created his site of being a drug user, without being sued, unless, of course, the programmer is a drug user and Bush could prove it. There are still protections against slander and libel for the individual. These protections were weakened by the Supreme Court in a weird decision if the person being slandered is a public figure. In those cases, you have to prove not just that what was said was false, but that it was done with malice, as I recall.

    Second, the FEC does put other limits on freedom of speech, limits that the Supreme Court has upheld. (In my view they were wrong, but I'm not even, thank God, a lawyer, much less a Justice.) Explicit campaign sites do in fact have some reporting requirements.

    Third, the Bush people do in fact have the protection of copyright laws. That something is easy to steal, like a picture on the Net, does not mean it is legal to steal it.

    Fourth, it is unclear that the Bush people are actually trying to shut thte site down. Instead they have asked the programmer not to steal their pictures, to post a disclaimer, and to follow the current law on campaign finance. In short, they have asked him to get legal. The programmer, instead of following the law, has decided to claim he is being oppressed by some one who hates freedom of speech. This is bogus. It is sucker bait for the Internet Bubbas.

    If this is hard to see, turn the situation around. Suppose the Bush site was posting slander about the programmer, was not reporting to the FEC, and was stealing the programmer's work. If the programmer tried to stop this, would he be trying to suppress freedom of speech? Of course not, and neither is the Bush campaign.

    Finally, the facts on that unrelated issue, Willie Horton, which are so often mistated. The first big coverage of the Horton issue came from a small newspaper in Massachusetts. As I recall, the newspaper won a Pulitzer prize for saying the same things that opponents of Dukakis later picked up. The paper's stories were picked by the Reader's Digest, so it became something of an issue outside Massachusetts as well. One important point: Dukakis never apologized to Horton's victims in Maryland.

    There was a big fight over the parole policies of the Dukakis administration in Massachusetts and he was forced to change some of them. After that, it first became an issue in national politics when then Senator Gore used it against Dukakis in the New York primary. Gore used it at the suggestion of Mario Cuomo, according to one story. The Bush campaign then picked up the story and used in in a campaign ad that did not show Horton's race. An independent group then ran an ad that did show his race. The Bush people immediately asked the group not to show the ad and they did stop.

    In sum, we had a real issue, first reported by a Massachusetts newspaper, which became an issue in nation politics in a Democratic primary. This has since been used to tag former president Bush with racism. This is bizarre.
  • by r2ravens ( 22773 ) on Monday November 29, 1999 @05:40AM (#1497975)
    Is G. W. Bush a public figure?

    Yes.

    As a public figure, we can say whatever we like about him, as long as it's not a lie and it's not malicious. Allegations are fine. As long as we have no evidence that the allegations are *untrue*, and we bear no malice other than not wanting him to represent us in government. then we can assert these allegations without being in violation of the law.

    This applies to journalism. As the web has made us all journalists, it applies to all of us.

    If this were not true and proven in law many times, the National Enquirer, et. al. could not and would not remain in business.

    Add to this the aspect that it is satirical, and there is a double legal whammy that should stand in court if this country is still free and following the law laid down over many years.

    However, since G. W. seems to believe there should be limits to our freedoms and he wants to be the one to place them, maybe we are not as free as we would like to believe.

    Especially when he has successfully supressed so much anti-G. W. Bush sentiment already.

    1. Campaign staff buy up all adverse domain names in one of the worse squatting incidents.

    2. Somehow, congress put off the cyber-squatting law. I don't know the particulars, but if a former republican president were to urge current republican members of congress to put this on hold, especially if it would help elect a republican president, they would probably listen.

    3. He successfully supressed a book that was uncomplimentary by calling into question the character of the author and convincing the publisher to recall and destroy 700,000 copies of what would have been a best selling book simply because of the advance publicity.

    4. He arrogantly assumes a lead in the polls and "skips" public debate events with other republican candidates.

    This is to say nothing of the allegations in the aforesaid book, of earlier events in his life which parallel these types of current events.

    The allegation is that used cocaine, then pulled political strings to get a light sentence and and have his record illegally purged.

    And on and on and on...

    Microsoft tried to claim they were not a monopoly by pointing to individual components of their practices that they claimed were not monopolistic. When it fact it was their "*pattern* of behavior" that proves their monopolistic practice.

    Looking at G. W. Bush and his documented behaviors and statements, *I* observe a pattern just like that of M/$. While he may win on individual battles, I sure hope he loses this war. This is not an individual I want leading my country.

    Say what you like about Bill Clinton... he may have gotten blown by an intern and lied about it, but he didn't try to take away *my* rights, and he didn't put business above environmental concerns.

    Russ
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Fact: The first amendment grants os freedom of speech.

    Wrong! The first amendment protects our right to free speech. We have that right by default. The first amendment says the govt can't take it away.
  • by Zach Frey ( 17216 ) <zach&zfrey,com> on Monday November 29, 1999 @05:51AM (#1497977) Homepage

    I have studied some history.

    Of course slavery was an issue; what is wrong is the idea that it was the only issue, or even the primary issue. As Lincoln put it, the war was to "preseve the Union." I truly doubt most of the Northern volunteers in 1860 had the abolition of slavery on their minds. And a number of Southerners had their personal doubts about slavery, but chose to fight for the South anyhow. It was only mid-war, when the Thaddeus Stephens and the "Radical Republicans" made their case, that the focus changed, and it became certain that a Northern victory would result in the abolition of slavery.

    As for Hitler and the Nazis, you are thanking God for the wrong reasons. People like Hitler have risen to power in the last few decades; the USA has either supported or opposed such dictators as convenient. While some of German atrocities were understood in the late '30s (such as the annexation of Poland), the full extent of the evil of the Holocaust was not known to the American public until well after the war was over. As for FDR having a "moral" obligation to oppose Hitler; perhaps, but those same morals didn't stop him from being buddies with "Uncle Joe" Stalin, as bloody-handed a dictator as Adolf ever was.

    Please note that I didn't say that I thought we should not have entered the war on the side of Britain; what I said was that it's an issue worth debating. I haven't read Pat's book, so I don't know the details of his argument. But I'm concerned that he's being demonized for simply daring to question whether that was the right policy to have followed mid-century. Sheesh -- Slashdotters will lionize Dr. Singer for suggesting that we kill handicapped kids [slashdot.org], because it "makes people think," but we dare not tolerate discussion of US interventionism!

    "... it is generally the man who is not ready to argue, who is ready to sneer. That is why, in recent literature, there has been so little argument and so much sneering."
    -- G. K. Chesterton, "Saint Thomas Aquinas"
  • I have one word for this situtation.... "Mirror". If this guys gets into any trouble he should just take the whole site down, and in 30 minutes have a mirror up on a server in a different country. That is the beauty of the net it is ours... It belongs to us, we the people and all that jazz.
  • What is the difference between these sites and political cartoons found in all major newpaper's Editorial Section?

    As long as these sites state clearly that they are satire(which is implied with political cartoons) then I can't see how the SEC can justify infringing on 1st Amendment Free Speach rights.
  • All he seems to do, from the stuff I've read on slashdot, is spin general vagaries out about what might take place in the future and hope, somehow, one will be declared "correct" in 20 years from now and people will hail him as a genius. He seems like a modern-day Nostradamus, and, for my money, his ideas of the future are about as worthless.

    - A.P.
    --


    "One World, one Web, one Program" - Microsoft promotional ad

  • As for Bill Clinton, he has, in fact, had put people put in jail for peaceful protests. Overnight, granted, but this has happened. Once in Chicago and once in California, as I recall. He has, according to liberal columnist Anthony Lewis, of New York Times, one of the worst records on civil liberties of any president. He has set a record for wiretaps, for instance. And, he has interfered with news organizations in ways that would outrage them were he a Republican.

    And, in Arkansas, he had a very poor environmental record. Many suspect that Hillary's cattle futures winnings were one of the reasons the state of Arkansas allowed Tyson foods to pollute a river, which caused serious sickness in town on the river. There are times when he has, as president, sacrificed the goals of environmental groups to business, as any environmental advocacy group can tell you.
  • My disclaimer: I'm all for free speech. I've been a card carrying ACLU member for a decade, from before it was chic to be an ACLU member.

    I came across this site a few weeks ago. It is clearly a political site, up to and including the fundraising pitch. What is not clear at first read is that it is not a GWB fundraising site.

    Free speech is one thing, but to actively pass oneself off as something one is not, and then to collect political funds from people intent on donating to a cause (good or bad) that you do not represent - that is not free speech; that is misrepresentation at a minimum, and is potentially fraud in the legal sense.

    Politics in America have been becoming less civil by the election. Regardless of which party one favors, recognise that we are on a slippey slope, and at the bottom of that slope is insurrection. For a hundred and fifty years the United States has avoided what so many other countries have faced - politics of the bullet. This site is one more example of the very disturbing trend towards victory at any cost.



  • "Everybody don't vote, and maybe we'll have anarchy, just like the web"

    If nobody speaks, except a small minority, then only the small minority's voice will be be heard, instead of the majority.

    And you can't stop everyone from voting. Therefore, get more people to vote, not less. the majority will be heard better.

  • When Ice-T was forced to remove his song, "Cop Killer," he replaced it with:

    "Freedom of Speech, Yea, just watch what you say."
    - cause that's the way the cookie crumbles.
  • I'm amazed that people here have lept to Bush's defense. Hello, people... the emperor has no clothes! He's using heavy-handed police tactics to silence his critics. It's his way of doing things. What else would it take to show you that Bush is not on our side? Burst that bubble of yours ASAP, or we'll be sorry.

    Bush is at least as sleazy as Clinton. He's been bought and sold ten times over, long before the first primary. He'll only act in the interest of his major campaign contributors. The only things he has going for him are that no one knows him yet (and he's trying to keep it that way), and that he's not associated with Clinton. He's "tough on crime" (read: police state), and now he's alienating both China and Russia. Yeah, that's a great idea. Brilliant foreign policy mind.

    If Gore did what Bush is doing to this Web site, I bet a lot of people here would be ripping him a new one.

  • The reason that the Union needed to be preserved was because the South seceeded--because they feared that Lincoln, who was anti-slavery, would start pushing for the end of slavery. And, in fact, most of the Northern volunteers, especially from places like New England, which were nowhere near the fighting, did so because they wanted to see slavery end. Lincoln himself changed the focus of the war, because he knew that "the Union," was an amorphous entity for most people--saying, "This is a ware to free the slaves," sounded much more noble, and like a cause worth fighting for.

    Re your comments on the Holocaust: the American public didn't know about the full extent of the atrocity, but it's fairly well documented that Allied military intelligence certainly did.

    Finally, Buchanan is not being demonized for daring to question the prevailing orthodoxy. He's being demonized for being a racist, sexist, anti-Semitic, homophobic bigot. I, for one, am glad that there are people who won't let his hate-mongering pass by ignored. I do find it interesting that when Louis Farrakkhan says that Hitler was an "evil genius," black officeholders and candidates are asked to disassociate themselves from his remarks, but when Buchanan praises Hitler, no one demands that white leaders, or even Republican leaders, distance themselves from the hatred that he spews--and, in fact, he gets rewarded by being asked to speak at the Republican convention. Go figure.
  • This looks like a very open and shut First Amendment case to me. Why do you say "It's not an open and shut case?". Fact is that protecting political speech is the primary purpose of the First Amendment, and any attempt to restrict political speech has always been promptly squished by the courts.
  • The same law which applies in the physical world will not and never apply to the internet. You might be a laywer, You might know the law. But I am citizen, a user, I disagree with the law, and when a large bunch of us disagrees, the law becomes meaninless. The sooner people realize this, the better. I am not saying that everything should be free, I am not an anarchist or one that rebels against every authority, but I am simply saying that Laws has limits. It becomes hard to draw a boundary... We can only rely on common sense, and in this case, I think the guy is not guilty of any copyright violation.

  • However the UK's laws have zero bearing on this issue.
  • He's actively using the site, so probably not. It only became a valuable domain after Bush raised such a fuss about it that he generated publicity for the site.

    Bush is pretty SOL here. All they can do is threaten to sue the guy and hope he can't afford the lawsuit.

    I consider it one of the flaws of our judicial system that rich people can have such strong control over other people's rights simply by threatening them.

  • Re your comments on the Holocaust: the American public didn't know about the full extent of the atrocity, but it's fairly well documented that Allied military intelligence certainly did.

    True, but in a sense irrelevant -- because the decisions by FDR and others to put the USA on an anti-German course were made in the late '30s, well before Allied intelligence knew, well before the "final solution" had begun in force. It is simply incorrect to look back and think that the USA entered WWII to save the victims of the Holocaust. We didn't.

    Finally, Buchanan is not being demonized for daring to question the prevailing orthodoxy. He's being demonized for being a racist, sexist, anti-Semitic, homophobic bigot.

    Somehow, your second sentence doesn't support your first ...

    Yes, I've looked at the collection of out-of-context quotes [buchanan2000.com]. As I said originally, I am not going to try to defend all things Pat. On the other hand, he is certainly not a hate-monger. I've bumped into real hate-mongers before (yes, Virginia, there are really neo-Nazis on the 'net), and Pat just isn't one of them. Try disagreeing using specifics rather than namecalling and demonization next time.

    "These are the days when the Christian is expected to praise every creed except his own."
    -- G. K. Chesterton
  • This site contains a crap load libel in my opinion and that is NOT protected speech.

    Fortunately for the rest of us, it takes more than your opinion here. Can you show libel in a court of law? If not, well, you know what they say about opinions.


    ...phil

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Somebody donate web space and/or decent legal assistance and help this guy out so that he doesn't have to go over $250 in yearly costs.
  • When someone says that the U.S. was "meant to be a European nation," and that "We can assimilate 100 Englishmen better than 100 Zulus," and describes the Sharpesville Massacre of 60 blacks in South Africa as "Whites mistreating a couple of blacks," I call that man a racist.

    When someone says that if the mayor of New York does not cancel the Gay Pride march, then he will be responsible for the spread of AIDS, I call that man a homophobe.

    When someone says that "women are simply not endowed by nature with the same measures of single-minded ambition and the will to succeed in the fiercely competitive world of Western capitalism," I call that man a sexist.

    I am well aware, thank you, that there are neo-Nazis on the Net. But perhaps you didn't hear Buchanan's speech at the RNC in 1992. I did, and I will never forget him saying that "...as they took back the streets of LA, block by block, so we must take back our cities, and take back our culture, and take back our country." I'm an African-American, queer woman--one of the people that he wants to take back the country from. Sure sounds like the man who said in 1991 that "David Duke is busy stealing from me...I have a mind to go down there and sue that dude for intellectual
    property theft." is a hatemonger to me, and I will continue to call him that.
  • Thats no good. His site will not let a message go through the cgi without having your address, phone number, everything but your blood type. I don't want his spam mail (email or snail), don't want him to call me, etc. I will voice my displeasure of him at the ballot box, in any and all future attempts at getting into any office.

    I have emailed the article links to all my friends that have an email address.

    Freedom of speech is a very big deal!!

    ********

  • Very true, but his quote must be taken in the context of which it was given (and I should have said so). Should there be 'limits to freedom' in this case ? Usually, limits to freedom are imposed for the 'common good', such as not being able to yell 'FIRE' in a crowded theater. In the Bush case, I can't see it.
  • Well, at least you are willing to deal in specifics ...

    ... is a hatemonger to me, and I will continue to call him that.

    And you will continue to be wrong.

    Ah, well. At least you're willing to back up what you say, which means we could actually have a reasonable debate on this subject.

    ... no man ought to write at all, or even to speak at all, unless he thinks that he is in truth and the other man in error.
    -- G. K. Chesterton, "Heretics"
  • And you will continue to be wrong.

    Well, she was willing to be specific. Why can't you be specific about why you believe his statements are not racist, sexist, homophobic, etc?

    Ah, well. At least you're willing to back up what you say, which means we could actually have a reasonable debate on this subject.

    Seems like she already started it and you had no real response. I'd really love to see what you have to say that could possibly make those statements seem like something other than a bigot's display of his true colors (npi).

  • Wrong on both counts. First, Al Gore was not the first to bring it up. It was a big political issue in Massachusetts after a newspaper ran a series of stories on the issue. Second, the Bush ads did not mention the race of Willie Horton or show a picture of him. The single ad that did was done by a separate organization. As soon as it ran, the Bush people asked that it be pulled, as it was. That ad got far more coverage from news organizations trying, successfully, to smear Bush than it had when it ran. By the way, the reason Willie Horton was in prison was that he had brutally attacked a black teen ager.
  • Why can't you be specific about why you believe his statements are not racist, sexist, homophobic, etc?

    Simply Real Life(tm) constraints on how much time I have to give to this conversation.

    Seems like she already started it and you had no real response. I'd really love to see what you have to say that could possibly make those statements seem like something other than a bigot's display of his true colors (npi).

    Yes and yes; and I was acknowledging that. That darn Real Life(tm) again. But I have a few minutes now, so I'll give it another try.

    Anti-Semite: this one is so baseless that it's almost funny. I note that darkrose didn't bother trying to back this particular one up, other than by allusion to Farrakhan. I would hope that all I should have to do is point to the number of Jewish friends, collegues, and admirers of Buchanan whose response to the charge of anti-Semitism is "Huh? I may disagree with Pat, but he's no anti-Semite." Farrakhan? Please. Buchanan's religion teaches that all people are of equal dignity before God and that anti-Semitism is a sin; Farrakhan's teaches that whites and Jews are of the Devil. The two don't even belong in the same breath. Unless one uses that strange definition of "anti-Semite" as "one who occaisionally criticizes the national policies of Israel or of the pro-Israel lobby in the USA," in which case practically half the Jews of the world are "anti-Semites."

    Homophobe: too often a code word for "thinks homosexuality is wrong", something which is certainly true of Buchanan. So I don't give this one much credit -- by that definition, I'm "homophobic" -- never mind that I'm not "phobic" about anyone, and (cliche'd as it is) some of my best friends really are gay. The relationship between AIDS and (male) gay sex is hardly "phobia", it's hard epidemiological data (although we do have the fun fact that "if AIDS is God's judgement, lesbians must be the Chosen People"). But this is a whole topic I hate to even mention, given the likelihood of any "debate" on sexuality degenerating rapidly into (1) namecalling and (2) a black hole for time.

    Racist: doubt it, given his open admiration for Alan Keyes. I would like to see some context for the quoted comment on Sharpesville; but as for the European roots of the USA and the relative ease of assimilation, those seem to me to simply be statements of reality, not evidence of racism. Acknowledgement that the USA began as a European transplant and still retains much of that character, opposition to affirmative action and 'multiculturalism' do not equate to racism.

    Sexist: let me simply suggest that Buchanan is hardly the first or only person to notice that capitalistic competitiveness is not exactly friendly to women or femininity. Especially for women who wish to exercise their traditional calling as mothers. But again, a good discussion of capitalism and gender is well beyond the scope of what I have time for on Slashdot.

    David Duke: please, this is guilt by association. I find it highly plausible that Duke did crib from Buchanan's economic platform. That doesn't make Buchanan a Klansman. Given that Buchanan seems to be the only national politician addressing a number of the issues important to blue-collar and rural folk (many of whom happen to be white), doesn't it make sense that a Klansman trying to gain respectability (Duke) would do just that?

    There, some specifics to chew on. I have now more than exhausted my time for such fun; so I'm going to have to let everyone else have the last word.

    Both the characteristic modern parties believed in a government by the few; the only difference is whether it is the Conservative few or Progressive few. It might be put, somewhat coarsely perhaps, by saying that one believes in any minority that is rich and the other in any minority that is mad.
    -- G. K. Chesterton, What's Wrong With The World [ccel.org]
  • I too agree that one or two of the things Buchanan has said were more truthful than misleading. However I feel that this is coincidence. If you don't have something nice to say, don't say it at all...especially if you are going to piss off a lot of people. It seems he doesn't care, and in fact /wants/ to appeal to some of these radical groups. Therein is the fault, regardless of whether what he says is true.

    For instance, recently our conservative (and much hated) conservative newspaper on our campus ran an article about the sillyness of our Law School's quota-like system which is trying to get more women involved in law. The author of the article rather cogently argued that basically it is not discrimination or gender pressure which is causes fewer women to take certain professions, but simply that the nature of women (just like men) makes them less inclined to some professions and more towards others. The discontent of some women therefore cannot be fixed by increasing quotas and persuading women to enter a certain field.

    I agree with this, and I disagree with quotas and reverse-discrimination such as affirmitive action in general, yet I do not consider myself a conservative, and it seems that the article was written and published more for shock effect and hostility than in fostering a comfortable climate for discussing such issues.

    I'm also aware that the Civil War was not a manifestation of our grand vision of all men as equal. Only late in the war did Lincoln play the card of slavery, and that was mostly to appeal to popular opinion. The history books don't always tell the most truthful story.

    The difference between Buchanan, and other level-headed people who know history, is that Buchanan uses it to appeal to the most distateful portions of our populace for votes, neo-nazis, extremists, religious fundamentalists, racists.

    I think his views and prejudices, regardless of his knowledge of history, are quite present and abhorrent.
  • just set your threshold to +1. all ACs will dissapear.
    --
    "Subtle mind control? Why do all these HTML buttons say 'Submit' ?"
  • Buchanan is no longer a republican. John McCain, made some negative comments about him, and when he wouldn't apologize, he left the party. (so, there was some republican outcry as well)

    Buchanan is now in the Reform party, and could be a posible candidate, might be running aganst donald trump....
    --
    "Subtle mind control? Why do all these HTML buttons say 'Submit' ?"
  • After the 'republican takeover' in '94, Chris Farly (sp?) did a spoof of Newt Gengrich.

    Newt invited him to the floor of congress to do his act.
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    "Subtle mind control? Why do all these HTML buttons say 'Submit' ?"
  • First, Bush is absolutely right that there are limits on freedom of speech. For example, Bush could not put up a parody site accusing the programmer who created his site of being a drug user, without being sued, unless, of course, the programmer is a drug user and Bush could prove it. recall.

    I doubt bush would be sued. It would be amazingly hypocritical for this Exly person to sue him. And puting up the site would probably do a lot of harm to the bush campain
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    "Subtle mind control? Why do all these HTML buttons say 'Submit' ?"

"Live or die, I'll make a million." -- Reebus Kneebus, before his jump to the center of the earth, Firesign Theater

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