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Obama Talks Internet Freedom, China Censors

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the can't-hear-you dept.

Censorship 312

eldavojohn writes "In a town-hall-style Q&A with (hand-picked) Chinese students in Shanghai, President Obama made several statements knocking China's firewall and censorship. Quoting: 'I am a big believer in technology and I'm a big believer in openness when it comes to the flow of information. I think that the more freely information flows, the stronger the society becomes, because then citizens of countries around the world can hold their own governments accountable. They can begin to think for themselves. That generates new ideas. It encourages creativity. And so I've always been a strong supporter of open Internet use. I'm a big supporter of non-censorship. This is part of the tradition of the United States that I discussed before, and I recognize that different countries have different traditions. I can tell you that in the United States, the fact that we have free Internet — or unrestricted Internet access — is a source of strength, and I think should be encouraged.' The Washington Post notes that the event was broadcast only on the local level, and in fact Chinese authorities removed from view what little coverage it had gotten, after about an hour. But at least American news media are gobbling it up."

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312 comments

we'll see (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30125644)

Unfortunately, in Obamas' case, words speak louder than actions.

Re:we'll see (4, Insightful)

bistromath007 (1253428) | more than 4 years ago | (#30125670)

I think you mean ACTA speaks louder than words. :V

Re:we'll see (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30125682)

I think you mean ACTA speaks louder than words. :V

I think the phrase you're both after is "Talk is cheap".

Re:we'll see (2, Insightful)

arogier (1250960) | more than 4 years ago | (#30126080)

I really don't know what is more sad, regulating internet speech for political reasons or doing the same for commercial reasons.

Re:we'll see (2, Insightful)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 4 years ago | (#30125764)

Unfortunately, in Obamas' case, words speak louder than actions.

Kinda what I was thinking. When he said:

because then citizens of countries around the world can hold their own governments accountable.

Of course, that doesn't apply if you criticize HIS government or try to hold it accountable. Ask Fox News.

Note: Regardless of your opinion of Fox News, it's obvious that they are being punished for daring to report on anything negative about Obama. Remember, the Freedom of the Press is just as much a RIGHT as Freedom of Speech, or Freedom from Unlawful Search and Seizure (privacy) or any other RIGHT listed in the Bill of Rights. Just because you don't like what Fox News says, doesn't mean that they don't have a RIGHT to say it! The fact that they are being bullied by the government should scare the shit out of EVERYONE. Saying that Fox News is NOT a news station (not the press) is the same as saying what comes out of YOUR mouth is not speech.

Re:we'll see (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30125824)

So who says Fox is being bullied by the government? Fox News?

Bullshit.

I'll believe that when other independent sources (say, BBC) confirm Fox is being bullied.

Re:we'll see (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30125944)

I believe that five other american networks did say that, by refusing a white house press conference from which Fox News had been blocked.

Re:we'll see (2, Interesting)

jhoegl (638955) | more than 4 years ago | (#30126310)

Srsly? Just because Obama did not want to interview with the #1 B.S. rumor starter in the USA that is obviously pro-republican doesnt mean they are being "bullied". Fox news had the option to go through all the interviews and pick them apart. Instead they ignored it, pretending it didnt even happen. Hmmm... there seems to be a similarity between Fox News and China. Want proof of Fox News being liars? youtube.com and look up Fox News caught or any other variation and enjoy the comedy. Oh, and the other point where Fox News officials are saying that "Oh its obvious where we put the news and the commentary". Really? Daily show examined this claim and found that Fox news perpetuates their own B.S. news. Fox news is destroying themselves and everyone else is laughing while they do it.

Re:we'll see (1, Interesting)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 4 years ago | (#30125980)

I'll believe that when other independent sources (say, BBC) confirm Fox is being bullied.

Would you believe The Guardian [guardian.co.uk]?

How about MSNBC [freedomslighthouse.com]?

There are many more. Google is your friend.

As for the BBC, you trust a government owned and run network over free ones? Really? BBC is the NPR and PBS of Britain. Sorry, I think the "Bullshit" is coming from you.

Re:we'll see (2, Funny)

bertoelcon (1557907) | more than 4 years ago | (#30126048)

As for the BBC, you trust a government owned and run network over free ones? Really? BBC is the NPR and PBS of Britain. Sorry, I think the "Bullshit" is coming from you.

I like to think a public news organization from country A can give a fairly unbiased opinion on matters of country B.

Re:we'll see (5, Informative)

Cimexus (1355033) | more than 4 years ago | (#30126406)

NPR/PBS, reliant as they are mostly on voluntary public donations, is a mere shadow of the legislatively-created and taxpayer funded BBC in the UK (or the Australian equivalent, ABC, for that matter). A poor cousin at best. You can't compare them like that, it's chalk and cheese quality-wise.

Not many people see PBS as a high quality or popular channel in the US. But, in Australia the ABC is one of the most-watched and best-quality networks (and has multiple channels in most areas). Ditto with the UK and the BBC.

Re:we'll see (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30126210)

I know the PM of Canada does not call the shots at the CBC. Politics can play a role in a gov't owned institution but if they are independent it's minimal.

Re:we'll see (4, Insightful)

tolkienfan (892463) | more than 4 years ago | (#30126220)

I read the article linked to at The Guardian, and A) it's not the publication but a post on a blog, and B) it doesn't say what you seem to think it's saying.
It doesn't say that Fox is a news network that is being bullied.

I haven't read the other link, but I suspect I'll find something similar...

Re:we'll see (-1, Troll)

narcberry (1328009) | more than 4 years ago | (#30125858)

You're one of those Bill of Rights truthers aren't you. When will you weirdos ever realize no such rights actually exists?

Re:we'll see (2, Insightful)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | more than 4 years ago | (#30126300)

We the people already held all the rights. We only consented to surrender SOME of them to form a limited social contract to secure life, liberty, and property. We don't have free speech because the government said we could....we have freedom of speech because we never gave it up.

This. Until "progressives", socialists, and the marxist democrat party decided that a dependent voter base was a key to power.

Re:we'll see (1, Insightful)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 4 years ago | (#30125898)

Note: Regardless of your opinion of Fox News, it's obvious that they are being punished for daring to report on anything negative about Obama. Remember, the Freedom of the Press is just as much a RIGHT as Freedom of Speech, or Freedom from Unlawful Search and Seizure (privacy) or any other RIGHT listed in the Bill of Rights. Just because you don't like what Fox News says, doesn't mean that they don't have a RIGHT to say it! The fact that they are being bullied by the government should scare the shit out of EVERYONE. Saying that Fox News is NOT a news station (not the press) is the same as saying what comes out of YOUR mouth is not speech.

It's a sad day when the Bill of Rights is modded "Troll".

What ever happened to "I may not agree with what you say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it."

Re:we'll see (0, Redundant)

ya really (1257084) | more than 4 years ago | (#30125938)

It's a sad day when the Bill of Rights is modded "Troll".
What ever happened to "I may not agree with what you say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it."

Maybe it's when you UPPERCASE lettering to SHOW how important YOU are

Seriously though, you could have said the same thing and been 100% less douchey about it and it would have made me want to use my mod points instead of giving this reply and voiding any points I have for this topic.

Re:we'll see (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30126000)

Maybe it's when you UPPERCASE lettering to SHOW how important YOU are

I think he was using caps to show how important RIGHTS are. I think it's easier to hit the caps lock than it is hit open-bracket-lessthan-B-close-bracket bolded wordsopen-bracket-lessthan-slash-B-close-bracket.

And you wasted your chance to mod here to call the guy a douche? Pot, meet kettle.

Re:we'll see (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30125946)

Your comment still being on slashdot: that is your freedom of speech.

Your comment being modded troll: that is everyone else's.

Re:we'll see (1)

kdemetter (965669) | more than 4 years ago | (#30126276)

Your comment still being on slashdot: that is your freedom of speech.

Your comment being modded troll: that is everyone else's.

Unless you live in China : i'm sure they blocked this article already , or slashdot for that matter.
Now , for the rest of the world : yes , at this moment , the internet allows freedom of speech.

However , if one tries to stop a news station , that is censorship , no matter how you put it.
And if that's allowed to go through , it's just a matter of time before internet censorship is a fact.

Re:we'll see (2)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 4 years ago | (#30125978)

Yea, whatever happened to it.

Because Fox News isn't broadcasting anywhere anymore. It's obvious that their rights aren't protected, and they were shut down.

Wait, What???? Oh sorry, here's Fox News on my TV right here!

I guess their rights to say whatever shit they want are indeed being defended. My bad.

Re:we'll see (4, Interesting)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 4 years ago | (#30126062)

Yea, whatever happened to it.

Because Fox News isn't broadcasting anywhere anymore. It's obvious that their rights aren't protected, and they were shut down.

Wait, What???? Oh sorry, here's Fox News on my TV right here!

I guess their rights to say whatever shit they want are indeed being defended. My bad.

So, are you saying that there is nothing between complete freedom and total shutdown?

So, is it OK to invite every major news network to an event except FoxNews? Is it OK to give "scoops" to every network but FoxNews? Sure, not every network can attend, so I understand if the Shelbyville Gazette doesn't get invited, but Fox has the ratings to be considered on the short list of invitees. Even the other networks are getting uncomfortable [rcfp.org] with it:

Despite the administration’s pledge to play nice earlier this week, the White House tried to exclude Fox News – alone among the five White House "pool" networks – from interviewing executive-pay czar Kenneth R. Feinberg on Thursday.

After CNN, ABC, CBS and NBC balked at the plan Tuesday, ABC News’ Jake Tapper asked White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs about the appropriateness of the administration's saying that Fox News, which he called "one of our sister organizations," is "not a news organization."

(From The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press... but what would they know, right?)

Re:we'll see (2, Insightful)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 4 years ago | (#30126142)

So, are you saying that there is nothing between complete freedom and total shutdown?

I'm saying that you're a big baby, and Fox News is still on the air. What are you crying about?

The First Amendment never guaranteed that other people won't make fun of you, or call you names, or disagree loudly with your crap.

So, is it OK to invite every major news network to an event except FoxNews?

Yes. I don't invite child molesters to my house either. And that's my right of association.

Re:we'll see (5, Insightful)

Starlon (1492461) | more than 4 years ago | (#30126234)

You just totally lost me. I don't watch Fox News, but comparing them to child molesters is a very far stretch. Yes, I said very. It's because you went from intelligent conversation to utter ignorance and, yes, lies in one post. Again, I have no use for Fox News, but I respect their right to cover news events. The Obama administration's attempt to exclude Fox News, arguably the most viewed news source on cable TV, was politically incorrect any way you look at it. If you can't take criticism, you don't belong in politics, and you damn sure don't belong running an entire nation. Take Iran's president for example. Or China's administration. Or any country's leadership which protects political gain at the expense of the citizens' rights.

Re:we'll see (2, Insightful)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 4 years ago | (#30126318)

You just totally lost me. I don't watch Fox News, but comparing them to child molesters is a very far stretch. Yes, I said very.

I did not compare them to child molestors. I included child molestors as another random category that I do not invite to my house, to illustrate that the right of association is an important right.

The Obama administration's attempt to exclude Fox News, arguably the most viewed news source on cable TV, was politically incorrect any way you look at it.

Nonsense. Utter nonsense. The President's job is to accomplish his agenda that he was elected to accomplish. To do that he needs to explain his program and counter the objections of his opponents.

Fox News is clearly the voice of his opposition. They can speak, but Obama doesn't have to help his opposition in any way. He would be a fool to do so.

Again, I have no use for Fox News, but I respect their right to cover news events.

Obama also respects their right to cover news events too. Fox can write anything they want to write. But he has no obligation to help them write their stories.

Take Iran's president for example. Or China's administration. Or any country's leadership which protects political gain at the expense of the citizens' rights.

Not even close. You claim my post was utter ignorance, but look at yours. In the countries you mentioned, they would have shut down the opposition instantly. Fox is still on the air. And they will not be taken off the air.

Re:we'll see (2, Insightful)

jjohnson (62583) | more than 4 years ago | (#30126264)

There's no violation of their free speech to not invite them. Fox is still perfectly free to publish/broadcast what they want, to pursue whatever stories they want, and to express whatever negative criticism they want out there.

There's a difference between preventing someone from expressing themselves, and not facilitating it. Your right to free speech does not entail an obligation on my part to listen, or let you borrow my megaphone, or invite you to my press conference.

Re:we'll see (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30125918)

how is this troll? makes excellent parallel; free speech and free press.

perhaps he needs to site sources, like this [alternet.org]. Note: TL;DR.

Re:we'll see (1)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 4 years ago | (#30125936)

I especially object to the forced shutdown of the Fox News network by the military, revocation of the Fox News broadcasting licenses by the FCC, the lawsuits against Fox News by the Justice Dept., seizure of Fox News studios by Federal Marshals, and the imprisonment of Roger Ailes.

If Fox News was really being violated, that's what it would look like.

You conservatives obviously like to cry a lot about something which is NOT a violation of anybody's rights.

Re:we'll see (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30125964)

I especially object to the forced shutdown of the Fox News network by the military, revocation of the Fox News broadcasting licenses by the FCC, the lawsuits against Fox News by the Justice Dept., seizure of Fox News studios by Federal Marshals, and the imprisonment of Roger Ailes.

It's much worse than that! The White House actually accused them of BIAS. Can you imagine?! When we all know they're fair and balanced.

What give Nobama the right to say such a thing about Fox?

Re:we'll see (4, Insightful)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 4 years ago | (#30126012)

Oh hell, accusing a conservative of bias ALWAYS shuts them up. I once accused a conservative of bias, and he couldn't speak for FIVE YEARS!

I can see why they think this is a restraint against Fox's speech.

Re:we'll see (0, Flamebait)

Darth Turbogeek (142348) | more than 4 years ago | (#30125982)

You have the right to speech, that is true.

You do not have the right to be a fucking bunch of asshats and liars aka Fox News. With speech comes resposibility and the Murdoch press left that bit out years ago.

Re:we'll see (0, Flamebait)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 4 years ago | (#30126092)

You have the right to speech, that is true.

You do not have the right to be a fucking bunch of asshats and liars aka Fox News. With speech comes resposibility and the Murdoch press left that bit out years ago.

So, who decides who is telling the truth and who is lying? The President? And... you're OK with that? The President can declare who can say the news and who can't, what is news and what isn't, and what is truth and what is not?

Oh, and yeah, lying (See CBS and their fake GWB NG documents) and being a bunch of asshats is protected by the Freedom of Speech and the Freedom of the Press. Read the Federalist Papers and ask yourself, "What if George Washington had declared that the writers of the Federalist Papers were a bunch of "lying asshats"?"

Re:we'll see (4, Insightful)

Draek (916851) | more than 4 years ago | (#30126198)

Yeah, because refusing to give an interview is [i]"deciding what is truth and what is not"[/i]. Riiiiight. Let's face it, the whole Fox News thing is just Fox overdramatizing for the purposes of creating a controversy, as is usual for US TV stations.

Oh, and yeah, lying (See CBS and their fake GWB NG documents) and being a bunch of asshats is protected by the Freedom of Speech and the Freedom of the Press.

If it were so, libel wouldn't be a crime.

Re:we'll see (1)

aardvarkjoe (156801) | more than 4 years ago | (#30126098)

You do not have the right to be a fucking bunch of asshats and liars aka Fox News.

Perhaps you would like to show me the part of the Constitution that prohibits me from being an asshat and a liar.

In fact, it seems to me that one of the most important lessons of the Bill of Rights is that asshats (or the nicer term, "people I don't like") have the same rights that I do.

Re:we'll see (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30126190)

you can be an asshat...but other people can be an asshat to you RIGHT BACK IN YOUR FACE.

Re:we'll see (1)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 4 years ago | (#30126242)

The guy you're replying to is a moron. Anyone can be as much of an asshat as they want. Maybe he's talking about Belgium or Japan or someplace where there are obviously no asshats at all.

Re:we'll see (2, Insightful)

narcberry (1328009) | more than 4 years ago | (#30125852)

To speak of freedom on Chinese soil, even regarding a limited internet environment, is a strong action.

fristy? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30125654)

frist

Whitehouse.gov (3, Informative)

BearRanger (945122) | more than 4 years ago | (#30125662)

They're streaming this speech, and historically China has not blocked this domain. So, provided there are curious Chinese citizens who are aware of the visit they have a way to hear directly what was said.

Re:Whitehouse.gov (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30125716)

Streaming in Chinese? Let us say it was the other way around, and the Chinese president was speaking here, how many "curious American citizens" would even understand what was on the Chinese equivalent of whitehouse.gov?

Re:Whitehouse.gov (4, Interesting)

pavon (30274) | more than 4 years ago | (#30125808)

The non-rhetorical answer:

10M Fluent english speakers in China [wikipedia.org] (0.77%) vs
  2M Fluent chinese speakers in the US [wikipedia.org] (0.57%)

However, an additional 300M Chinese (~23%) are learning english. That is an awful lot of young impressionable students.

Re:Whitehouse.gov (1)

Palpatine_li (1547707) | more than 4 years ago | (#30125810)

When Obama made his first speech as president, the speech video had "Communism" deleted after "Fascism" in China.

Re:Whitehouse.gov (1)

sam0737 (648914) | more than 4 years ago | (#30125932)

...which I actually did yesterday. I'm in Shanghai right now.

But, I guess for someone who can listen and understand live English audio streaming with no caption and such, s/he should be well aware that unrestricted Internet access is essential.

May I put it in another way...GIVE ME BACK THE DAMN FACEBOOK.

Afro-American Racism Against Whites and Asians (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30126050)

During the election, about 95% of African-Americans voted for Barack Hussein Obama due solely to the color of his skin. See the exit-polling data [cnn.com] by CNN.

Note the voting pattern of Hispanics, Asian-Americans, etc. These non-Black minorities serve as a measurement of African-American racism against Whites (and other non-Black folks). Neither Barack Hussein Obama nor John McCain is Hispanic or Asian. So, Hispanics and Asian-Americans used only non-racial criteria in selecting a candidate and, hence, serve as the reference by which we detect a racist voting pattern. Only about 65% of Hispanics and Asian-Americans supported Obama. In other words, a maximum of 65% support by any ethnic or racial group for either McCain or Obama is not racist and, hence, is acceptable. (A maximum of 65% for McCain is okay. So, European-American support at 55% for McCain is well below this threshold and, hence, is not racist.)

If African-Americans were not racist, then at most 65% of them would have supported Obama. At that level of support, McCain would have won the presidential race.

At this point, African-American supremacists (and apologists) claim that African-Americans voted for Obama because he (1) is a member of the Democratic party and (2) supports its ideals. That claim is an outright lie. Look at the exit-polling data [cnn.com] for the Democratic primaries. Consider the case of North Carolina. Again, about 95% of African-Americans voted for him and against Hillary Clinton. Both Clinton and Obama are Democrats, and their official political positions on the campaign trail were nearly identical. Yet, 95% of African-Americans voted for Obama and against Hillary Clinton. Why? African-Americans supported Obama due solely to the color of his skin.

Here is the bottom line. Barack Hussein Obama does not represent mainstream America. He won the election due to the racist voting pattern exhibited by African-Americans.

African-Americans have established that expressing "racial pride" by voting on the basis of skin color is 100% acceptable. Neither the "Wall Street Journal" nor the "New York Times" complained about this racist behavior. Therefore, in future elections, please feel free to express your racial pride by voting on the basis of skin color. Feel free to vote for the non-Black candidates and against the Black candidates if you are not African-American. You need not defend your actions in any way. Voting on the basis of skin color is quite acceptable by today's moral standard.

Re:Afro-American Racism Against Whites and Asians (2, Insightful)

mooingyak (720677) | more than 4 years ago | (#30126116)

For starters, you're off-topic.

When you've got the numbers working for you, you should stop playing stupid games. Is there a reason that you use Obama's middle name and not McCain's (it's Sidney) other than Obama's middle name being Hussein? It dilutes your point. I'd be curious to see the votes by race for Kerry, Gore, and Clinton (x2) in the last few presidential elections. That would probably make a better baseline.

If you claim that normal support would be closer to 65%, then it's only 30% who voted based solely on race. Still a non-trivial number though.

Re:Afro-American Racism Against Whites and Asians (1, Informative)

jjohnson (62583) | more than 4 years ago | (#30126200)

The AC above above is a race-baiting bigot, but one should publish correct facts to avoid leaving their statistics on the wall.

Historically, African-Americans have voted Democrat 88-92% of the time, and sometimes as high as 95%. Going into the 2008 election, any Democratic candidate could expect to get that much. Obama, by pulling 96% of the black vote, at most pulled a couple of percent that he might not have gotten if he'd been white. And even then, it's not obvious that Hilary wouldn't have also gotten 96%, given Bill's popularity with African-Americans, and the current Republican party's outright pandering to racists and white supremacists.

Re:Afro-American Racism Against Whites and Asians (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30126328)

In the grandparent post, you deliberately missed the comment about the African-American voting patten for Barack Hussein Obama and against Hillary Clinton during the Democratic primary. Both candidates are members of the Democratic party, but 95% of Afro-Americans voted for Obama due to the color of his skin.

In Soviet Russia... (2, Insightful)

Ambidexitronic (1670640) | more than 4 years ago | (#30125672)

...ah, I just don't have the heart to finish the joke anymore. I'm so glad to have had the opportunity to have been raised in a culture where free speech and personal choice are so highly prized.

Re:In Soviet Russia... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30125886)

You've been raised in a culture where media manipulates your mind and stirs up antagonism towards other countries.

Re:In Soviet Russia... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30125954)

It's so easy to mod a post as 'Troll', isn't it? None of you have ever visited China and yet you strongly believe that the Chinese have no freedom of speech.

Re:In Soviet Russia... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30125916)

Or maybe you are afraid to?

Anti-censorship, huh? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30125684)

So that's why he's opposing and releasing all of the information about the ACTA treaty as well as allowing the pictures of the "POWs" that were enhanced interrogated to be shown. It's great to know that he got rid of all those national security and state secrets defenses in the courts, too.

Re:Anti-censorship, huh? (5, Insightful)

twostix (1277166) | more than 4 years ago | (#30126058)

And putting legislation online at least five days before it's voted on.

And allowing congressmen enough time to read legislation rather than ramming it down their throats at 2am.

And ending backroom politics.

And get rid of the lobbyists - though perhaps I misheard him on that one and he actually said "I promise to hire as many lobbyists and absolute freaks and weirdos into my administration as I possibly can".

And and and.

He's done absolutely nothing that he said he would do, and in fact has been even *worse* than Bushco regarding midnight bills, etc. So why is the media not lighting a bonfire under his feet? When I watch your media (MSNBC, CNN, etc) it would appear that they're absolutely infatuated with him. He's a political figure not a monarch or religious icon fer the gods sake.

(And not much of an "orator" when he's just got to wing it either I notice)

And before the lefty mods come down on me like a tonne of bricks, I'm no right winger and actually believed he would be different and better. Stupid me ay?

Re:Anti-censorship, huh? (5, Informative)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 4 years ago | (#30126308)

He's done absolutely nothing that he said he would do, and in fact has been even *worse* than Bushco regarding midnight bills, etc. So why is the media not lighting a bonfire under his feet?

Absolutely nothing? Not lighting a bonfire?
http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/promises/ [politifact.com]

The Obameter Scorecard
Promise Kept: 54
Compromise: 14
Promise Broken: 7
Stalled: 17
In the Works: 149
Not yet rated: 274

Feel free to read the about page [politifact.com]
The Truth-O-Meter [politifact.com] is good fun too.
Every day it tracks the veracity of statements by public figures & politicians.

Free Internet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30125714)

They block it and we sniff it.

Meanwhile on Fox News (5, Funny)

MosesJones (55544) | more than 4 years ago | (#30125720)

The main headline : Obama SELLS American Freedom to Chinese

Bill O'Reilly - Obama is betraying all Americans by giving away the secrets of freedom to the Chinese

Glenn Beck - Obama is raising a Chinese Army to take over the United States

Re:Meanwhile on Fox News (4, Insightful)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 4 years ago | (#30125800)

True, true, but it goes both ways.

Far Left - "Obama is perpetuating cultural hegemony and displaying his intolerance toward other cultures' ways of life by forcing Western cultural norms down their throats."

Re:Meanwhile on Fox News (1)

twostix (1277166) | more than 4 years ago | (#30126090)

CNN - "Oooh he gives me a tingle up my leg".

*shudder*

Apparently that's the standard that Fox is supposed to be aiming for.

Re:Meanwhile on Fox News (1, Insightful)

SpeedyDX (1014595) | more than 4 years ago | (#30126330)

As a product of both Western and Eastern cultural influences, I think that a remark like that is not necessarily off the mark. Freedom isn't something you can just give to a people and expect them to do great things with it. It depends greatly on the socio-cultural norms and lifestyles of a people, and how well their infrastructure can support it. Without proper education, for example, radical freedom can result in someone throwing their lives away by making poor choices.

Now you can argue that freedom means that it's their choice if they throw their lives away, and it's none of your business. And it's true, that's a great thing about freedom. But you have to keep in mind that that very viewpoint is a product of your socio-cultural upbringing. We Chinese have many sayings that refer to other Chinese as brothers or sisters, as one big family. If a member of your family suffers, the entire family suffers. To the Chinese, that's not a good thing. So with even this one facet of freedom, the freedom of others to throw their lives away and the freedom for you to ignore them, is both a strength and weakness depending on your point of view.

Now I'm not a cultural/moral relativist. I very much dislike relativism as a philosophy in general. However, that doesn't mean that we in the West can feel smug about our superior cultural values. It just means that there may be some true measure of how to live a good life, but we don't necessarily know what that measure is. Freedom is, in my view, definitely a part of that measure, but there still remains several questions. How much freedom? Which aspects of life should be subject to freedom, and which should be subject to regulation? Questions like these have not been conclusively answered, and it's up to the people of a certain culture to try to determine for themselves what those answers are. Isn't that a part of freedom? To be able to decide, as a people, what rules should govern your own society?

So yes, I think that Obama is showing at least some cultural insensitivity. Not because of some far-left cultural relativist reasons. But because a part of freedom lies in the ability to define the boundaries of freedom in your own society.

(I realize that there will inevitably be replies that will ask how the people of China are determining their own freedoms, since their system of government is not democratic. There are several responses to these replies. One of which is that the people of China are not sufficiently inclined to pursue the Western style of democracy because the Chinese government is working well enough for them. China's growth as an economic powerhouse has not been an accident. Another response is that they do have some elected regional representation, but that their power is simply not as great as their counterparts in the West. And it's not an oddity that the power structure in one government is different from another. -- In any event, regardless of whether you think each individual Chinese person has the power to change the circumstances, the fact is that it's not Obama's place, or any American's place, to decide for them whether they want to pursue freedom, how much of it to pursue, and in which aspects of life they should pursue it.)

Re:Meanwhile on Fox News (1)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 4 years ago | (#30126400)

How about looking at the individual and not justifying oppression due to consensus? Social consensus does not justify the individual being subject to tyranny.

Re:Meanwhile on Fox News (0, Troll)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 4 years ago | (#30125876)

The main headline : Obama SELLS American Freedom to Chinese

Bill O'Reilly - Obama is betraying all Americans by giving away the secrets of freedom to the Chinese

Glenn Beck - Obama is raising a Chinese Army to take over the United States

As I sit here and read all these comments about how great it is that we live in a free country and how terrible it is that the Chinese don't, I am shocked by your comment. The primary tool of the Chinese government is the control of the media. As long as they control the media, the rest doesn't matter. They can even give their people the absolute freedom of speech. It won't matter because the only information that the people receive will be good news about the people in power. How can they say anything negative when they don't know of the government doing anything negative. Sure, the party leaders don't read every news cast that every reporter reads, but if a reporter says something they don't like, they are whipped back in line with a quickness.

Fortunately, here we have the Bill Of Rights. It guarantees your right to say whatever you want. Just as importantly, it guarantees the right of Fox News to say whatever they want. It's sad that that right now, Fox News is the only network that is critical of the Obama administration. In other words, Fox News is the only network that is DOING ITS JOB! I find it sad that so many like yourself will openly mock the only network that separates the American media from the Chinese.

Re:Meanwhile on Fox News (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30125966)

LOL

Re:Meanwhile on Fox News (1)

bjourne (1034822) | more than 4 years ago | (#30125972)

Cry me a river. The medias role is to enlighten and educate, not being a bunch of whiny bitches presenting whatever "view" their corporate masters want them to. If they can not plainly state that Obama's speech is the closest thing to "fuck you China" any US president has ever come, then they don't deserve to be called media because they have thoroughly failed.

Re:Meanwhile on Fox News (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30125990)

So is it complete coincidence that Fox News began "doing it's job" meaning being completely critical of the actions of the President only once George Bush left office?

That same Bill of Rights also grants the government the right to criticize a news organization that seems to relish making the news as well as covering it.

Re:Meanwhile on Fox News (1)

user4574 (1645049) | more than 4 years ago | (#30126008)

"Fox News is the only network that is critical of the Obama administration."

What are you talking about? Even The Daily Show regularly criticizes the Obama administration. Fox is just the only network going full-on Joseph Goebbels with their coverage. And while I'm happy that the Bill of Rights exists and allows such free speech, Fox news perpetually fails at even its self-stated goal of delivering "fair and balanced" news coverage. But if by "doing its job" you mean going above and beyond to create a manufactured atmosphere of bigotry and fear, then yeah, I totally agree.

Re:Meanwhile on Fox News (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30126022)

Are you fucking kidding me? Fox News is critical of Obama because he's from The Other Team, not because they have nuanced and serious criticisms of his policies. They raise asinine complaints and conspiracy theories, they outright lie, hell, they're even backing political protests. Stop drinking the Konservatism Kool-Aid and open your eyes. Fox is not the shining beacon of hope and reason in a world gone madly socialist. Fox is the living incarnation of all that is wrong with American politics. The "us vs. them" mentality, the willingness to do absolutely anything to take the other guy down, ethics or reason be damned, the pervasive religious bullshit--Fox is all that and more.

Re:Meanwhile on Fox News (1)

maglor_83 (856254) | more than 4 years ago | (#30126256)

It's sad that that right now, Fox News is the only network that is critical of the Obama administration. In other words, Fox News is the only network that is DOING ITS JOB!

Fox News would be doing its job if they would have given the same report had a republican given that speech instead of Obama.

Re:Meanwhile on Fox News (2, Insightful)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 4 years ago | (#30126028)

Meanwhile some liberal somewhere makes up:

On Fox News The main headline : Obama SELLS American Freedom to Chinese

Bill O'Reilly - Obama is betraying all Americans by giving away the secrets of freedom to the Chinese

Glenn Beck - Obama is raising a Chinese Army to take over the United States

A tradition of the United States (4, Insightful)

QCompson (675963) | more than 4 years ago | (#30125738)

I'm glad that in the United States, the president agrees that an open and uncensored internet is important to ensure the free exchange of ideas. Sometimes, to ensure true freedom of speech, you have to allow that which you may find objectionable or offensive, because once you start blocking some information, you start to... OMG what's that? Child pornography?!? BLOCK EVERYTHING, ARREST EVERYONE, MONITOR ALL TRAFFIC!

Re:A tradition of the United States (5, Insightful)

agrif (960591) | more than 4 years ago | (#30126078)

I'm not one to post quotes willy-nilly, but this one is particularly relevant to the free internet:

The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all. (H. L. Mencken)

Re:A tradition of the United States (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30126108)

Oblig. Pres. of Madagascar: SHUT DOWN EVERYTHING!!!

Re:A tradition of the United States (1, Insightful)

twostix (1277166) | more than 4 years ago | (#30126202)

I'm getting mighty tired of these quite frankly disgusting comparisons between China and western liberal democracies (mostly the US) on sites like this by western middleclass individuals living lavish lifestyles in soft liberal democracies whenever China comes up.

It's not clever, it's not rational in fact it's offensive to the people who are suffering under the boot of whatever the hell China is these days (some sort of techo communist/fascist/authoritarian hybrid that we haven't seen before) simply for being so "evil" as to be pro-democratic or to have an opinion contrary to the local party official and/or state apparatus. Or pehaps even wanting to work in the city rather than being a peasant sorry to bad, no permit for you to leave your district.

Truly the white collar middle class have become like petulant children in the west. That you find yourself having to advocate for the free flow of images and video of babies and children being sexually molested in an attempt to find something to criticize about the US is pretty damn telling about A) How damned wonderful it is to live in our respective western countries and B) How absolutely morally and intellectually bankrupt you are that you cannot see that but rather prefer to believe that your freedom is somehow impuned to even within 0.1% of the average Chinese persons day to day existence is to be honest rather disgusting.

Educate your self a little you ignorant hick.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_rights_in_the_People's_Republic_of_China [wikipedia.org]

Re:A tradition of the United States (1)

some_guy_88 (1306769) | more than 4 years ago | (#30126282)

He didn't even mention China. He was just using the thread to make, in my oppinion, a valid point about the USA's view on child pornography.

No need for the hostility.

Re:A tradition of the United States (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30126296)

I'm getting mighty tired of these quite frankly disgusting comparisons between China and western liberal democracies (mostly the US) on sites like this by western middleclass individuals living lavish lifestyles in soft liberal democracies whenever China comes up.

It's not clever, it's not rational in fact it's offensive to the people who are suffering under the boot of whatever the hell China is these days (some sort of techo communist/fascist/authoritarian hybrid that we haven't seen before) simply for being so "evil" as to be pro-democratic or to have an opinion contrary to the local party official and/or state apparatus. Or pehaps even wanting to work in the city rather than being a peasant sorry to bad, no permit for you to leave your district.

Truly the white collar middle class have become like petulant children in the west. That you find yourself having to advocate for the free flow of images and video of babies and children being sexually molested in an attempt to find something to criticize about the US is pretty damn telling about A) How damned wonderful it is to live in our respective western countries and B) How absolutely morally and intellectually bankrupt you are that you cannot see that but rather prefer to believe that your freedom is somehow impuned to even within 0.1% of the average Chinese persons day to day existence is to be honest rather disgusting.

Educate your self a little you ignorant hick.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_rights_in_the_People's_Republic_of_China [wikipedia.org]

Uh... twostix...

I don't think QCompson was really comparing the US to China, I think he was just talking about the paradox of trying to create an open society when you ban things that offend you.

Of course then again, I suppose most of us support some form of censorship or another...

Copyright == Legal monopoly on the sale of an idea in order to encourage the creation of ideas. (At least in theory...)

Still, you could argue that the idea of copyright itself it outdated...

Regarding the kiddie porn statement, I am not sure if QCompson was stating that there are silly laws out there under the whole "Protect the children" campaign, or if he believes that it's silly for other depictions of illegal events to be shown but not this one.

In any case.... Let the flame war begin.

Re:A tradition of the United States (2, Insightful)

shadowofwind (1209890) | more than 4 years ago | (#30126316)

Well said. I find the lack of decency expressed by the 'child porn market = free speech' crowd to be staggering. As if the opportunity to sadistically destroy children, or leer from a safe distance while other people do it for you, is a human right.

Re:A tradition of the United States (1)

loteck (533317) | more than 4 years ago | (#30126358)

You know between this and the Education speech, Obama must be getting kind of tired of having radical extremist political parties censoring his otherwise basic and principled messages. Good thing that kind of thing doesn't happen over he... wait...

He likes openness... and yet...... (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30125756)

he likes to hide the 3 strike rule using the 'we cant tell you about it due to national security' ruse.... bowing down to his corporate leash holders...

With so much time for speeches (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30125796)

how does Obama find time to work at all?

Re:With so much time for speeches (1)

jaxtherat (1165473) | more than 4 years ago | (#30125848)

Giving speeches is a large part of what a politician does. Don't confuse politicians with administrators.

Re:With so much time for speeches (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30125976)

Actually, politicians, especially once they get elected and assume power, should be concerned with making and implementing policies, not talk about making and implementing them. From where I stand, it seems Obama enjoys the talking part, not the doing part. And, btw, the GP has it wrong. Obama isn't giving speeches, he's giving a speech. He hasn't added much content since I first heard him talk two years ago.

I just don't know. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30125806)

As an admittedly confused emotional being in this crazy world we live in - I just don't know what to believe anymore.

What's the point (2, Insightful)

DrugCheese (266151) | more than 4 years ago | (#30125826)

of talking to the Chinese if the Chinese people don't hear the message. It's certainly falling on deaf ears on the Chinese authorities.

And who cares if the American media is gobbling it up, the American people don't care.

All LIES (1, Insightful)

syousef (465911) | more than 4 years ago | (#30125882)

Talk in bold. Reality in plain.

I am a big believer in technology

American IT workers laid off, jobs outsourced.

and I'm a big believer in openness when it comes to the flow of information.

DMCA

I think that the more freely information flows, the stronger the society becomes

Renegs on promise to release Gitmo pictures

because then citizens of countries around the world can hold their own governments accountable.

Continue to occupy Iraq

They can begin to think for themselves.

Decimate the education system

Sure, poke the dragon in the eye... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30125900)

I hope someone else is standing ready to buy next months $30B worth of treasury bills...

Obama had it wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30125908)

China is doing the firewall NOT just to censor. That firewall is TWO ways. It allows them to protect their military when it appears that an attack is about to occur, say, right after they launched their own attacks.

Not so fast on the creativity (1, Insightful)

Trip6 (1184883) | more than 4 years ago | (#30125942)

The Chinese are noted for their LACK of creativity due to their strict caste structure - in that a person of a lower caste cannot offer up a potential improvement in any process or technology that might embarrass a superior. This structure (or lack thereof) in the US is a big reason we develop so much new out-of-the box technology. All the Chinese know how to do is copy, right down to our architecture. The day they learn to think for themselves we are REALLY in trouble.

Obama for freedom?!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30126002)

If thats all I got left supporting me, I'll turn in my indie card.

Where are the troops he promised to bring home upon election?!!

Fact check. Really removed from view? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30126216)

Really removed from view? A quick check on the chinese newspapers, here for example todays Shanghai Daily, proves different:

http://www.shanghaidaily.com/article/?id=419690&type=Opinion
"Many of the students asked questions in English about Obama's views on Internet censorship, global leadership and Taiwan....

Political Stunt (1, Insightful)

Grym (725290) | more than 4 years ago | (#30126224)

It seems too convenient that the one moment where Obama was openly critical of Chinese leadership occurred during the only public venue which was not broadcast on live television. Those admonishments of Chinese censorship were intended more for us back home than the repressed Chinese people; a political stunt to appear as if he cared about human rights abuses without paying the associated political price of taking such a stand. If you doubt this, ask yourself this: why didn't he make such statements during his two earlier live broadcasts just days earlier?

So continues the Obama Administration's strategy of trying to have its cake and eat it too. It's almost as if a PR firm was elected President instead of a leader. ("Now with more Change(TM)!") On every major policy issue he has tried to split the difference until what remains is an unrecognizable mess, like cooperating with the Chinese to censor his criticism of their... censorship...

He is fast becoming a joke, a self-parodying symbol of a broken political system. Some examples:

  • The war in Iraq. Barack Obama made a name for himself by condemning the invasion of Iraq. As a primary candidate, he soon became THE "anti-war" candidate. He promised a complete withdrawal from Iraq within 18 months after election. His solution after becoming president? A "residual force" of more than 50,000 troops which will remain indefinitely. Well, so much for that...
  • Financial Regulation. Publicly, the Obama Administration has been very critical of the banking industry and its fraudulent practices which led to the financial collapse of 2008. At the center of the industry's dysfunction is the clear conflict of interest between Savings Banks operating as Investment Banks, which basically allowed these institutions to make bets with other people's money. This was made possible through the repeal of the Glass Steagall Act. The very first step to preventing future bubbles would be to the modest and completely logical reinstatement the Glass Steagall Act. That option, however, is completely off the table, because it would be too disruptive of valued democratic campaign contributors like Goldman Sachs. So, instead, the Obama Administration has artificially supported the flawed banking industry by throwing an approximate 23.7 [ritholtz.com] Trillion dollars, or 170% of annual GDP at it without requiring ANY substantial reforms. Of course, the administration claims reforms are coming, but what leverage is there now? Now invigorated with an infusion of public money, these firms have dramatically increased their lobbying and campaign contributions to prevent any reforms from taking hold.
  • Cap and Trade. Publicly touted as a beginning step to limiting carbon emissions, the Obama Administration's Cap and Trade legislation is nothing more than a massive government handout to polluting industries. So watered down with loopholes and handouts [economist.com], there are serious questions as to if it will even accomplish its stated purpose of decreasing carbon emissions at all, let alone in the next few years.

The list could go on and on including: comprehensive Healthcare Reform (i.e. Medicare for All with Prescription drug price negotiations), limiting lobbyist influence (in his own administration, even!), repealing Don't ask, Don't tell, etc.

All of this, of course, is textbook post-Clintonian Democratic political strategy. The only problem is: this isn't the 90's. The public winds have changed. The information sources have changed. The problems are too big to be swept under the rug. I don't think even Barack Obama understood just how much his talk of transformative change and real progress resonated through the hearts of a disillusioned country. His advisers don't seem to realize how the rules of the game have changed. Progressives and liberals are more empowered and organized in the past. They will not overlook stunts like this forever. Their votes should not be taken for granted. If he thinks this waffling serves his re-election efforts, I believe he is sorely mistaken. Instead of leaders like FDR or Kennedy, he might very well find his place in history next to Herbert Hoover...

-Grym

hand-picked (2, Interesting)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 4 years ago | (#30126278)

What's with the (hand-picked) snark? Of course the students are hand-picked. Obama is a VIP, he's not going to be left standing in front of a random crowd. There's a lot of negotiation behind the scenes just to guarantee an acceptable level of security, and it's obvious that hearing a foreign dignitary speak is a privilege that's going to be distributed in *some* way.

The Chinese fully realize that probably half or more of Americans will be very upset if something were to happen to Obama, and they're treating the problem appropriately, as would any other host country.

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