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Subversives In South Carolina Mostly Safe

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the as-you-were dept.

Government 200

sabt-pestnu sends in an update on our story about South Carolina and subversives. "According to Eugene Volokh, the Raw Story article has got it backwards. Westlaw says that the cited statute dates back to 1951, when a lot of anti-Communist statutes were being enacted nationwide. What brought Raw Story's attention to it may be that South Carolina is once again trying to repeal the archaic law. And in any event, a half-century-old case (Yates vs. United States, 354 U.S. 298 (1957)) took most of the teeth out of such laws."

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200 comments

In other words ... (2, Funny)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 4 years ago | (#31150890)

Mostly harmless.

Re:In other words ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31151526)

Why the fuck do people keep saying that? Is that some fucking catchphrase or something?

Re:In other words ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31151628)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mostly_Harmless

Re:In other words ... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31151872)

it's the title of a Douglas Adams book in the Hitch-hikers guide to the galaxy series - wikipedia or google is your friend

Re:In other words ... (3, Interesting)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 4 years ago | (#31151962)

And also in the Guide (the book within the book, an encyclopedia much like wikipedia) it's the definition and advice for the Planet Earth before it was destroyed. Mostly Harmless.

Given the events of September 2008, does this mean South Carolina can put the CEOs of Goldman Sachs, AIG, and JP Morgan Chase in jail for their (largely successful) attempt to overthrow the government of the United States?

Personally, I'd been wondering (0, Flamebait)

billstewart (78916) | more than 4 years ago | (#31152692)

Did the Republican and Democratic Parties ever register? If not, should we help them out by submitting forms for them? The filing fee's only $5; that was real money back in 1951, but these days it's less than the price of a movie ticket.

And no, those guys had no interest in overthrowing the US government; if they did that then who'd be around to pay them billions and billions of taxpayer dollars? The ones they need to bust are anybody from the Bush Administration, though many of those folks are still around because Obama didn't clean house when he took over.

Re:In other words ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31152028)

^mostly a retard... Seriously, are you serious? Delete your /. account now.

Re:In other words ... (4, Funny)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 4 years ago | (#31152142)

    Please reference section 42 of your Slashdot User Agreement, and you will find it necessary to submit yourself to 30 lashes with a wet noodle, and turn in your geek card. You should hurry before your late.

    Sorry about that. Ford only wrote "Mostly Harmless", not "Completely apathetic". You should have been aware of the rules. They were clearly posted.

    In the cellar...

    In the disused lavatory...

    Clearly marked with the sign "Beware Of The Leopard"...

    In the bottom of the locked file cabinet...

    Under a mostly dead parrot.

    Like I said, clearly posted.

Doh! (5, Funny)

sargeUSMC (905860) | more than 4 years ago | (#31150894)

How do I withdraw my application?

Re:Doh! (1)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 4 years ago | (#31151252)

Just send your withdrawal letter to the FBI.

Re:Doh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31151576)

Just send your withdrawal letter to the FBI.

Along with finger prints, DNA, and a recorded voice sample. Just so they can, you know, make sure it's really YOU that is asking to withdraw your application.

You have the right to remain... for the moment.

subversion (1)

Weezul (52464) | more than 4 years ago | (#31151444)

Dude, I've gotta explain why I thought they were talking about subversion, which I'm sure will go over real well.

Re:subversion (1)

JDmetro (1745882) | more than 4 years ago | (#31151570)

In reply to your sig. What about Zionism and Islam? Are you just a religion basher or do you just descriminate against Christians?

Re:subversion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31151724)

I'm not GP (in fact I'm Christian, so it would be a little ironic) - but he's quoting Bertrand Russell. From Bertrand's point of view (a late-18th/19th century Briton), it would certainly appear to be just Christianity that was causing all the trouble (this was largely before easy international travel, and Britain was primarily Christian at the time). He also lived in America briefly, but that's also a largely Christian nation, so what could you expect?

Re:subversion (1)

Philip_the_physicist (1536015) | more than 4 years ago | (#31151726)

Probably because in 1927 Islam was basically irrelevant to English society, and Zionism was very different to what it is today.

Furthermore, GP is probably living in an area where the only religious nutjobs who matter are Christian, and so is beng slightly parochial.

Finally, Judaism was not of great significance for most of history, and the Islamic peoples lost their power at about the same time as their religion became oppressive, so they too had less potential to cause harm.

Re:subversion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31152356)

So you preach intolerance based on religion and geographical location?

Re:subversion (1)

the_womble (580291) | more than 4 years ago | (#31152546)

Finally, Judaism was not of great significance for most of history

It has been pretty influential though. Thing of the number of Jewish scientists, writers etc: something that can be attributed to a religious and cultural respect for learning, and, perhaps, a reaction too persecution.

Islamic peoples lost their power at about the same time as their religion became oppressive

Intolerant versions of Islam did exist at times and places when it was powerful. The current rise in fundamentalism seems to be rooted in once particularly group of nutcases, the Saudis, getting more power (oil = money = power). I heard Fatima Bhutto (yes, once of that family) talking about how better funding is encouraging Wahabbism at the cost of Sufism in Pakistan, and I heard similar stories from all over the world.

Look at just the high profile stuff. Who funded the Taliban? Where does Osama Bin laden come from? Where does the money for fundamentalist madrasas come from?

Re:subversion (3, Interesting)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 4 years ago | (#31151820)

In reply to your sig. What about Zionism and Islam? Are you just a religion basher or do you just descriminate against Christians?

As others have pointed out, BR would not have had much exposure to Islam, nor would he have considered them important. From a more modern perspective, though, Zionism doesn't count since it's not a religion, and Islam is currently floundering around, trying to re-fight the battles which Christianity lost centuries ago. Islam isn't "the principal enemy of moral progress" because it's so ass-backwards that they don't even get counted in discussions about morality. Kinda like how the Quakers aren't "enemies of technological progress" because they're such complete luddites that nobody cares what they think.

As for Christianity, the situation's changed a bit since Russel's time, but not enough. The brand of Christianity practiced in most of the western world is generally benign, with the obvious exception of the US. On the other hand, the brand of Christianity being practiced in developing nations is just as regressive as Islam, and even the benign varieties tend to cause harm by teaching people to blindly accept dogmatic statements.

Re:subversion (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31151876)

Quakers? You mean Amish?

Parent article was precisely on topic (3, Interesting)

billstewart (78916) | more than 4 years ago | (#31152494)

Calling Quakers complete Luddites doesn't make sense; they've got no problems with technology as long as you don't let it distract you from living an authentic life. Amish generally think post-1700s technology gets in the way. But they're both "Historic Peace Churches", along with the Mennonites, and both traditionally wore plain clothes and big hats back in the 1700s. In the case of the Quakers, the hats were because England had a beastly climate, and then many of them moved to North America; I suspect it was pretty much the same with the Amish moving from the Germanies.

On the other hand, Quakers never did adopt the American technology called televangelism. A TV show with a bunch of people sitting around quietly for an hour just doesn't haul in cash, even if there is the exciting part at the end where the shake hands and then the clerk reads the announcements for the week, and maybe there's a potluck lunch or some coffee. It can be deeply meaningful if you're there, but you've got to be there...

You reinforce my point. (1)

JDmetro (1745882) | more than 4 years ago | (#31152068)

Quaker is a derogatory term used against members of a certain Christian faith. And for the record do the "Quakers" preach anything bad/evil against their fellow man? Or even against you for making fun of them?

Re:subversion (1, Offtopic)

JDmetro (1745882) | more than 4 years ago | (#31152096)

The brand of Christianity practiced in most of the western world is generally benign You mean like Chatholics and all their off shoots? Did you know that pope Joseph Ratzinger was a member of Hitler's Youth Party. But then again why did the Chatholic Church tell the German to vote for Hitler?

Kind of confused here (4, Insightful)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 4 years ago | (#31150958)

How is this law, real or not, any different than thousands of other laws on the books in various states that aim to make something illegal by requiring that you register your 'group', business or service?

Anyone wanting to do something contrary to the morals of the standing legislators is likely to fall foul of one or more laws with the same miasmal qualities. For instance, look at sex laws; they are nothing but attempts to stop 'subversive' elements of local society, or at least make it so you can fine them if they do those 'subversive' things, and generally make them unwelcome in the community.

I say we should hang those that enact such laws if it were not so hypocritical ....

Re:Kind of confused here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31151078)

Yeah, hang those violent pigs! :P

Re:Kind of confused here (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 4 years ago | (#31151148)

What worries me is that with all these "unconstitutional" laws still being on the books, all it will take is a few braindead SCOTUS rulings to dust them off and put them back in full force.

Re:Kind of confused here (4, Insightful)

RenderSeven (938535) | more than 4 years ago | (#31151592)

Whats far more likely is a brain-dead local authority tries to dust them off and apply them and SCOTUS tosses them out. You and I may not always like the outcome of SCOTUS decisions but they do tend to serve the Framers' intent of keeping legislators and their more ridiculous laws in check.

Now what am I going to do? (5, Funny)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 4 years ago | (#31150960)

What's the point of being subversive if it's not forbidden?

Re:Now what am I going to do? (4, Funny)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 4 years ago | (#31151052)

Well if it makes you feel better, and you aren't too picky, I forbid you from being subversive.

Re:Now what am I going to do? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31151110)

Please, Sir, forbid me as well, please.

Re:Now what am I going to do? (4, Funny)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | more than 4 years ago | (#31151200)

Yes! He'll forbid all of us!

Moot bein naughty? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31152504)

Capt. J. Sparrow: A forbidden! Alright! I love forbiddens! Drinks all around! Y-yes, I'm clapping me hans.

This is not the only example of such (3, Insightful)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 4 years ago | (#31151002)

Very often laws on the books stop mattering not because they are repealed by the legislature but because they cease to get enforced or get enforced very rarely. The classic example of this is laws against pornography which still exists in many jurisdictions but by and large don't matter since almost no one is prosecuted. Unfortunately, you then get every few years someone like John Ashcroft in charge who decides that prosecuting porn makers should be a high priority of the federal government and then assigns multiple agents full time to prosecute videos made of consenting adults. So getting rid of obsolete legislation when one can is a good idea since it can't come back and bite you when an extremist manages to get elected or appointed to a relevant position.

Re:This is not the only example of such (3, Interesting)

fm6 (162816) | more than 4 years ago | (#31151138)

Unfortunately, you don't have to wait for a particularly repressive official to get persecuted by such laws. You just have to be somebody with no political clout.

Classic case: not so long go, most states had laws against "sodomy" — basically, oral or anal sex. Theoretically, this law applied to everybody, but in practice it only got applied to gays. (Well, also rapists, but there it was just used to add counts to the existing charge.) Eventually, most states repealed these laws, but even the liberal Warren court refused to find this hypocrisy unconstitutional. Curiously enough, the remaining anti-sodomy laws were finally thrown out by the hyper-conservative Roberts court. That probably says a lot about the change in attitude towards homosexuality during that time period.

Re:This is not the only example of such (3, Informative)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 4 years ago | (#31151218)

Huh? Lawrence v Texas, which threw out the remaining anti-sodomy laws was decided in 2003. Renquist didn't die until 2005. So it wasn't the Roberts court. (I'd argue with the claim that the current court is "hyper-conservative" but that's a separate issue).

Re:This is not the only example of such (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 4 years ago | (#31151508)

You're right, it was the Renquist Court. I got my times wrong. But I think you'll agree that the court under Renquist wasn't a lot more liberal than it is now.

IIRC, you still can't buy vibrators in Texas (1)

billstewart (78916) | more than 4 years ago | (#31152534)

Somebody was busted within the last year for having a dozen of them in her car trunk. (She ran a business selling them.) (Might have been Alabama instead of TX.) Even if they can't outlaw sodomy, they can outlaw obscene devices, because those things are Not Politically Correct.

Re:IIRC, you still can't buy vibrators in Texas (1)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 4 years ago | (#31152592)

There have been many cases like that. This isn't just about political correctness or such. The courts have generally given governments much more leeway about how they regulate commercial exchange. In the case of selling vibrators, we have commercial exchange that doesn't involve a speech. So this is reasonably within the jurisdiction of the state. Just because a law is stupid doesn't make it unconstitutional.

Gay sex still banned, sort of (4, Interesting)

davidwr (791652) | more than 4 years ago | (#31151370)

Lawrence v. Texas (2003) threw out laws that banned private sex acts between consenting adults.

Even after 2003, there is still anti-gay discrimination when it came to consenting acts between teenagers compared to the same acts between consenting heterosexual couples:

1) I think some states still have laws on the books that make gay sex a felony, those laws are theoretically enforceable against a 17-year-old gay couple.

2) Likewise, in states where there is no Romeo and Juliet law, straight couples can have sex all they want if they get married first. Gay couples, well, good luck getting a marriage license outside of a handful of states. Even when the laws are non-discriminatory, the application can be - some prosecutors may look the other way when an 18 year old man has sex with a 17 year old almost-woman, but they'll be happy to throw the book at an 18-year-old man with a 17-year-old male youth. Or the prosecutor may not be biased but the parents of the girl may be willing to not press charges but the homophobic parents of the 17 year old boy may insist on it.

Re:Gay sex still banned, sort of (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 4 years ago | (#31151470)

On point 1, there's nothing theoretical about it. A few years ago, I was watching one of those MTV reality shows. One of the characters was a gay college-aged guy from Massachusetts — yes, the first state to issue same-sex marriage licenses. When he was in high school, he'd asked another guy to the prom. When his date's parents found out, they tried to bring criminal charges against him. They were able to get a hearing, because he was past the age of consent (16 in that state) and his 15-year-old date wasn't.

In the end, of course, their case foundered on the little fact that this was nothing but an innocent social thing. But obviously if he'd asked out a 15-year-old girl, the idea of legal action wouldn't have occurred to anybody.

Should go in the other direction. (4, Insightful)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#31151484)

The government should just stop recognizing marriage.

(the big downside there would likely be companies that stopped extending health benefits to families of employees. I can't think of any other real big ones (most other stuff can easily be handled with contracts))

Re:Should go in the other direction. (2, Insightful)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 4 years ago | (#31152382)

And then inheritance and child custody issues go all to hell.

Government has a Supreme Court-recognized interest in promoting the family. They are always -- always -- delicate in how they word that, and they always address the balance between personal rights and improving society. They have in a number of cases taken away government's power to regulate family life -- interracial marriages, adoption/child custody by gays, use of birth control -- and I expect that in the near future they will remove the power to prevent gays from marrying. I recommend reading some of the decisions that have discussed these points, as the logic used by the Court is usually very solid and well-defined, with the risks of over-extension realized and addressed.

But part of the promotion of family is the structure of laws that govern marriage, part of which addresses inheritance without wills and what happens in child custody cases, particularly involving the death of a spouse. Some regulation of family life is recognized by the courts and by social scientists to have benefits to keeping order in society, and some amount of order helps to protect the people -- the most basic role a government is intended to perform.

Re:Gay sex still banned, sort of (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31151772)

Lawrence v. Texas (2003) threw out laws that banned private sex acts between consenting adults.

If that's really what it did, why are the laws against using money during foreplay still being enforced?

Age of Consent Laws (1)

billstewart (78916) | more than 4 years ago | (#31152590)

"Romeo and Juliet" laws don't mean that the age of consent is under 18; they mean that even if one of the partners is under the age of consent, it's not statutory rape if the other partner is within N years of the same age. In New Jersey, the age of consent was something like 15 or 16, and N=3 when they passed the law in the (?80s?).

While some states have an age of consent that's 18, in many others it's lower. When I was growing up in Delaware, the age was 12, because if you were old enough to get pregnant, you were old enough to make your own decisions about sex (or if you prefer a non-feminist explanation, old enough to be a farmer's wife because why would girls need a secondary education?) They've since raised it to something like 14. But it was still strange to encounter the term "jailbait" when I went off to college in another state; the idea that the government would meddle in something like that was appalling, and the age limit of 18 seemed to be totally out of touch with reality.

I'm not a Commie! Cross My Heart! (5, Interesting)

fm6 (162816) | more than 4 years ago | (#31151050)

Westlaw says that the cited statute dates back to 1951, when a lot of anti-Communist statutes were being enacted nationwide.

When I went to college in the 70s, I had a number of jobs at the same state U I was attending. All University employees, including me, were required to sign an oath that they were "not a member of the Communist Party or any other organization which advocates the overthrow of the Government by force or violence". Naturally, I had to wonder what kind of namby-pamby insurrectionists Moscow was infiltrating our way, if they were willing to violently overthrow the government, but not lie about their willingness to do so!

This is not quite a dead issue. Quite recently, a Quaker hired to teach remedial math at Cal State East Bay lost her job after somebody noticed that she'd amended the mandatory oath she'd signed when she was hired. (The oath requires the signer to "support and defend" the California and U.S,. constitutions; not wanting to violate her religious principles, she'd inserted the word "nonviolently".) She was eventually rehired after the usual legal squabble, which ended with the state AG ruling that the unamended oath did not obligated the signer to do military service!

Re:I'm not a Commie! Cross My Heart! (4, Funny)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 4 years ago | (#31151064)

(The oath requires the signer to "support and defend" the California and U.S,. constitutions; not wanting to violate her religious principles, she'd inserted the word "nonviolently".) She was eventually rehired after the usual legal squabble, which ended with the state AG ruling that the unamended oath did not obligated the signer to do military service!

Aw. I was hoping the issue was resolved when they balanced the score by hiring someone who amended the oath by inserting "exclusively through violence".

Re:I'm not a Commie! Cross My Heart! (1)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 4 years ago | (#31151070)

You still have to sign that oath. I know, I did it last fall to get a part-time job at my university.

Re:I'm not a Commie! Cross My Heart! (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 4 years ago | (#31151542)

The University I mentioned also still requires an oath. But it's not the same oath — the anti-Commie language I quoted is gone. I'd be surprised if yours did either.

Re:I'm not a Commie! Cross My Heart! (5, Insightful)

mhajicek (1582795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31151240)

(The oath requires the signer to "support and defend" the California and U.S,. constitutions;

If I had signed an oath like that I would be forced to attempt to overthrow those who claim to be the government, and reinstate a government that actually follows the constitution.

Re:I'm not a Commie! Cross My Heart! (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#31151388)

The Constitution (of the United States) doesn't necessarily enjoin states and other more local forms of government.

Re:I'm not a Commie! Cross My Heart! (2, Interesting)

Brett Buck (811747) | more than 4 years ago | (#31151466)

(The oath requires the signer to "support and defend" the California and U.S,. constitutions;

If I had signed an oath like that I would be forced to attempt to overthrow those who claim to be the government, and reinstate a government that actually follows the constitution.

          So, you have somehow concluded the that requiring someone to "support and defend the constitution" as a condition of employment, is, itself, unconstitutional? Fascinating.

          Brett

Re:I'm not a Commie! Cross My Heart! (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 4 years ago | (#31151486)

I think he's arguing that he has a constitutional obligation to overthrow a government he considers unconstitutional. I'm guessing he's a birther...

Re:I'm not a Commie! Cross My Heart! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31151540)

And I'm guessing that you have not read (or read and not understood) the Constitution if you think this current government is operating within the parameters.

Re:I'm not a Commie! Cross My Heart! (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 4 years ago | (#31152090)

herp derp.

not any more unconstitutional than things have been running for 100 years

Re:I'm not a Commie! Cross My Heart! (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31151566)

Hardly. He's just claiming that current government violates the constitution(s), and that IF he had signed an oath to defend said constitution(s), he would then be obligated to attempt an overthrow. He isn't saying the constitution(s) obligate(s) him to do anything of the sort. Nor saying requiring such an oath as a condition of employment violates them.

Birther? Not likely (0, Troll)

billstewart (78916) | more than 4 years ago | (#31152626)

I'd assumed he was talking about the Bush/Cheney/Rove Administration, the most shameful Presidency we've had since Jefferson Davis's administration. They've been far more opposed to and dismissive of the Constitution than anything done by either Roosevelt, or Woodrow Wilson (who was seriously bad news) or probably even Lincoln.

And Warren Harding doesn't even fit on that scale; he was just the traditional corrupt politician trading favors for money and other favors, and supposedly losing the White House china set in a poker game.

Re:I'm not a Commie! Cross My Heart! (1)

vxice (1690200) | more than 4 years ago | (#31151464)

With those laws they just get that extra offense and several more years that they can throw at you. And remember Capone was arrested and jailed for tax evasion since they could not prove anything more serious and then just threw the harshest sentence they could at him for it. Also their evidence was that he was clearly living beyond his means, as stated by his tax returns. Funny thing to add to that is illegal income is taxable and must be included on your tax filings. 1040, line 21, in case you needed to know.

Re:I'm not a Commie! Cross My Heart! (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 4 years ago | (#31151568)

Tax evasion may not be as bad as what Capone should have gone to jail for, but it's still pretty serious. I can't think of any serious penalty for disloyally signing a loyalty oath, beyond losing your job. I doubt that it's even against the law.

Re:I'm not a Commie! Cross My Heart! (2, Insightful)

TheCarp (96830) | more than 4 years ago | (#31151754)

It is amusing how often this is held up as a triumph for law enforcement. Its pretty pathetic, if you ask me, that they would put "punishing the guy that we know is bad, but can't prove up to the standards of our legal system" above all else. Isn't that just, kind of a cop out?

If you never would have bothered him, gotten into his business, and prosecuted his tax evasion except that you believe he is guilty of some other crime completely, that you can't prove, then isn't he, in fact, being punished for a crime that you can't prove up to the legal standards that he committed?

Not to defend Capone or anything, couldn't have happened to a nicer guy, from all I hear, but, its still no win for high minded justice.... afterall... he is supposed to be innocent until proven guilty.

-Steve

Re:I'm not a Commie! Cross My Heart! (4, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 4 years ago | (#31151510)

This is not quite a dead issue. Quite recently, a Quaker hired to teach remedial math at Cal State East Bay lost her job after somebody noticed that she'd amended the mandatory oath she'd signed when she was hired. (The oath requires the signer to "support and defend" the California and U.S,. constitutions; not wanting to violate her religious principles, she'd inserted the word "nonviolently".)

Personally I find the whole oath thing weird, here in Norway being a public school teacher is just a job not being an agent of the state. It binds you no more or less to uphold the constitution than it should for any other citizen, not that being a citizen is required either. And even for a citizen I find it weird, think of some of the amendments that have been repealed like Prohibition, what if you say "I don't support or defend Prohibition, it is wrong and should be removed"? Such oaths should not infringe on your first amendment rights.

Re:I'm not a Commie! Cross My Heart! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31152588)

This is not quite a dead issue. Quite recently, a Quaker hired to teach remedial math at Cal State East Bay lost her job after somebody noticed that she'd amended the mandatory oath she'd signed when she was hired. (The oath requires the signer to "support and defend" the California and U.S,. constitutions; not wanting to violate her religious principles, she'd inserted the word "nonviolently".)

Sounds like she performed the contract which she signed and which was agreed upon by her employer. What was the problem?

Re:I'm not a Commie! Cross My Heart! (4, Interesting)

billstewart (78916) | more than 4 years ago | (#31152608)

Back when I had a security clearance in the 80s, they also asked if you had any family members who were part of organizations advocating the overthrow of the U.S. One guy had marked "yes" - his explanation was that his great-grandfather had fought for the Confederacy during the War Between The States. They let him in anyway...

revoke mod points? (1)

oneplus999 (907816) | more than 4 years ago | (#31151132)

does this mean we can revoke all the mod points gained by the tin-foil-hat wearers when the first story was posted?

How? Why? Who? What? Where? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31151248)

Why do you want to know?

Why do you care?

Are you working for the Government?

If said mod points were revoked, how would you know that they were? Is there a way of checking?

Do you know of a way to track said people? Script? tracking MAC addresses on ethernet cards? How?

Forgive the typos and the untimely response, but the anonymizer running off of the proxy off of the anonymous proxy bouncing through an out of business Icelandic banks web server through the FDIC monitoring and the CIA's NSA connection that goes directly to the Vatican communicating with the Dali Lamma's servers in India hosted through the Mongolian underground via a Russian oligarch's oil company into the California's school system and then being hosted by the anonymizer in Canada and then down to where I live is having a problem with timing out. It may have to do with being by Sam's Internet cafe in downtown Cleveland on the corner of Pine St. and Andrews.

What I do to hide my identity and location.

definition of a subversive (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31151224)

Prosecutor: Tell the court why you think he is a traitor to this country.
Miss America: I think Mr. Mellish (Woody Allen's character) is a traitor to this country because his views are different from the views of the president and others of his kind. Differences of opinion should be tolerated, but not when they're too different. Then he becomes a subversive mother.

- "Bananas" (1971)

Maryland had something called the "Ober law" (1, Informative)

grandpa-geek (981017) | more than 4 years ago | (#31151288)

It was a similar kind of law passed back then. I don't know if it was repealed or is just being ignored because it was declared unconstitutional. Someone named Ober had pushed it.

There were a lot of these laws passed during the time Senator Joseph McCarthy was conducting his witch hunts ^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H investigations. There was also something at the time called the House Un-American Activities Committee that did similar things (often involving guilt by vague association) . Then came the famous Army-McCarthy hearings ("point of order, point of order", "sir, have you no decency") that discredited McCarthy. The HUAC seemed to melt away, various laws went to court and were declared unconstitutional, and the whole situation wound down.

Re:Maryland had something called the "Ober law" (4, Insightful)

ravenshrike (808508) | more than 4 years ago | (#31151366)

While McCarthy's investigations were quite vile and unconsitutional, they were not witch hunts. A witch hunt implies looking for something that's not there. Oddly enough, most of the evidence that came out after the fact confirmed a great deal of those he investigated to in fact be communists.

Re:Maryland had something called the "Ober law" (1)

tsm_sf (545316) | more than 4 years ago | (#31151400)

A witch hunt implies looking for something that's not there.

You're thinking of a snipe hunt.

Re:Maryland had something called the "Ober law" (5, Insightful)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#31151430)

You are playing a definition game. McCarthy wasn't simply looking for Communists, he was looking for a threat to the American way of life. Oddly enough, it wasn't there.

problem is not that they were communists or not (2, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#31151680)

the problem is that you would be outed, ostracized and otherwise derided

you defeat communism because it is ideologically inferior. you don't defeat communism with thuggery. let communists speak openly and without fear of reprisals with their views. and let them fall and fail on the incoherence of their flawed ideology

unfortunately, we see the same braying thuggery "socialism! socialism! bark! bark!" today as in the mccarthy era. as if socialism is anything but medicare, the interstate highway system etc.: there are plenty of times where socialism, such as with healthcare, just makes the most fucking sense. but opposition to issues (some issues, not all issues) where the socialist approach is superior amounts to nothing but the braying of sheep

so much of opposition to simple coherent logical progress amounts to zombified hordes of americans whipped up into unthinking opposition by demagogues and corporate shills, when if they actually thought about the fucking issues for a second, they would see socialism works far better for them than, for example, the bastard healthcare system we currently have. they decry government death panels, when currently they have corporations, whose job is to bring healthy financial returns to investors, rather than deliver quality healthcare to themselves. in other words, we currently have corporate death panels. fact: healthcare has infinite cost, and we all die eventually. so there is a triage of resources, no matter what the system we choose. there always will be. so would you rather that triage be done by a transparent government whose mandate is to keep you alive? or an opaque corporation whose job is to pay dividends? so why the hell do so many americans defy universal healthcare?

oh, you say the government will be an unwieldy bureaucracy? have you actually tried dealing with the ridiculous dance of paperwork between doctors, hospitals, hmos, etc? its MORE expensive and bureaucratic, the current system we have. socialized universal healthcare is not perfect, its simply BETTER than the current retarded system we have. admit it, and lose your ignorant fear of the scary word "socialism", and choose the superior option

"socialism! socialism! baaah baaah!"

its exactly the same as ignorant peasants whipped into an emotional irrational frenzy by religious madmen that there are witches about, doing evil things! and all they do is wind up killing some of their neighbors and friends, the same as they do when they oppose universal healthcare. the opposition to universal healthcare is the same as witchhunts in colonial times and the same as the mccarthy era- its not based on logic and reason, but based on fear of the unknown

kneejerk fearmongering of the word "socialist". without any respect as to logic behind the issues involved. that's the "debate" we have in the usa right now. pathetic

Re:problem is not that they were communists or not (1)

advertisehere (1384731) | more than 4 years ago | (#31152048)

It doesn't really need to be socialist though, just well regulated [pbs.org] . Only a few countries have truly socialized medicine, the rest just have a heavily regulated insurance industry.

Although I agree that socialism is demonized for some pretty bad reasons.

Re:problem is not that they were communists or not (0, Offtopic)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 4 years ago | (#31152108)

regulations can always be weakened or ignored by future (republican) administrations. A full single-payer system that scraps the entire health insurance industry would make that far less likely to happen, since there wouldn't be any health insurance companies to lobby for rules changes in their favor.

Re:problem is not that they were communists or not (1)

advertisehere (1384731) | more than 4 years ago | (#31152220)

And so can a socialized version of it, just like efforts to privatize social security, medicare, and education.

It would also be really difficult to gain support and implement the elimination of an entire industry. I support the idea in principle, but I don't think it's the most practical solution. The only reason the UK has it is because they had a golden opportunity after WWII.

Re:problem is not that they were communists or not (3, Insightful)

dr_dank (472072) | more than 4 years ago | (#31152352)

so why the hell do so many americans defy universal healthcare?

It's the irrational fear that somebody somewhere is getting something that they didn't earn or deserve.

Re:problem is not that they were communists or not (4, Funny)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 4 years ago | (#31152550)

It's the irrational fear that somebody somewhere is getting something that they didn't earn or deserve.

No, we weren't talking about gitmo ...

and the arguments against that are obvious: (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#31152558)

the moral argument: if someone is lazy, they don't deserve a wii or an iphone. and they won't get one. but that doesn't mean they deserve to die early of easily treatable diabetes for example

the investment argument: when you invest in the health of your community, it pays dividends to you in terms of: your own kids not getting diseases from sickly other people, your coworkers showing up and working instead of out on disability, the breadwinner actually able to work, so his kids don't wind up trying to burgle your car to feed themselves, etc

the philosophical argument: the money in your pocket is not some detachable entity, it is an intrinsic reflection of the value attached to it by the society you live in. as such, the va;ue of the money in your pocket goes down when you are part of a sick society. a society that takes care of itself is a rich society, and this inflates the cash in your pocket

the impetus to save costs: why spend $10,000 on the diabetes or heart attack when you can spend $100 on preventative medicine? such an imperative only exists in a system where prohibitive medicine is encouraged. our current system puts a premium on expensive and emergency care

etc, etc

Re:Maryland had something called the "Ober law" (1, Interesting)

PPH (736903) | more than 4 years ago | (#31151886)

What McCarthy was looking for were Communists, not communists. The former were a group of operatives working under the direction of the Soviet Communist party. The latter are a group of people who believed in the principles of Marx and Lenin, without necessarily doing the bidding of a foreign power. What McCarthy found was a lot of little 'c' communists. Not the capital 'C' variety. McCarthy (erroneously) equated one with the other.

Re:Maryland had something called the "Ober law" (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31151924)

The witch hunt analogy is very appropriate. In Salem, etc. they persecuted witches (or anyone who wasn't Bible thumpin protestant or they just didn't like). Didn't matter if the witches/communists were actually bad people doing bad things. The possibility that you might be a communist/witch was enough to get you or your career burned at the stake depending on the century. So yes, McCarthy was on a witch hunt. The morality and wisdom of such a hunt is left as an exercise for the reader.

Re:Maryland had something called the "Ober law" (3, Insightful)

dbIII (701233) | more than 4 years ago | (#31152040)

Oddly enough, most of the evidence that came out after the fact confirmed a great deal of those he investigated to in fact be communists.

The defendant gives money to the poor and obeys the ten commandments - he must be a filthy commie!
When you expand the definition of Communist to anyone you can harrass if it gets you closer to the White House as McCarthy did then that is a lot of people. He was nothing but an opportunistic scumbag that would have got furthur if he hadn't decided to pretend that the US armed forces from General Marshall down were Communists.

Re:Maryland had something called the "Ober law" (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31152424)

Oddly enough, most of the evidence that came out after the fact confirmed a great deal of those he investigated to in fact be communists.

The defendant gives money to the poor and obeys the ten commandments - he must be a filthy commie!
When you expand the definition of Communist to anyone you can harrass if it gets you closer to the White House as McCarthy did then that is a lot of people. He was nothing but an opportunistic scumbag that would have got furthur if he hadn't decided to pretend that the US armed forces from General Marshall down were Communists.

Technically speaking, the Communist Party was actual a Socialist group- there is a reason the word 'communist' did not exist in "U.S.S.R" Most people confuse Marxism/Lenonism with Communism, although the stated goal of the two was to end up with a communist society it's doubtful that anybody in power ever really had that intention.
A true communist society has no government, no authority, and no class system. There is no need for money or the idea of property ownership simply because everybody helps everybody out, and nobody takes anything they don't need. Of course we are all well aware that it's a Utopian pipe dream which doesn't stand a chance in the real world.

I find it interesting that the pure Utopian visions of Communism, Democracy, and Anarchism are almost identical. Which is probably why none of the three systems are actually in use.

Re:Maryland had something called the "Ober law" (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31152290)

While McCarthy's investigations were quite vile and unconsitutional, they were not witch hunts. A witch hunt implies looking for something that's not there.

No no no.

From Wikipedia:

The term "witch-hunt" is often used by analogy to refer to panic-induced searches for perceived wrong-doers other than witches. The best known example is probably the McCarthyist search for communists during the Cold War,[2][3] which was discredited partly through being compared to the Salem witch trials.[2]

Dictionary defines it as

n.
An investigation carried out ostensibly to uncover subversive activities but actually used to harass and undermine those with differing views.

Another dictionary defines it as

witch-hunt also witch hunt (wchhnt)
n.
An investigation carried out ostensibly to uncover subversive activities but actually used to harass and undermine those with differing views.
witch-hunter n.
witch-hunting adj. & n.
witch-hunt
n
(Government, Politics & Diplomacy) a rigorous campaign to round up or expose dissenters on the pretext of safeguarding the welfare of the public
witch-hunter n
witch-hunting n & adj

Webster's defines it as

Function: noun
Date: 1885

1 : a searching out for persecution of persons accused of witchcraft
2 : the searching out and deliberate harassment of those (as political opponents) with unpopular views

— witch–hunter noun

— witch–hunting noun or adjective

There never has been ANY implication that the target of the hunt is non-existent. You're simply confused- the implication is that those who are named in the hunt are usually not actually what they are accused of being.
In fact, if you do some research, you'll see that the McCarthy "investigations" one of the prime examples of a witch hunt.

HUAC lasted until 1975 (1)

billstewart (78916) | more than 4 years ago | (#31152664)

HUAC didn't melt away - go read Wikipedia HUAC article. [wikipedia.org] They were still around harassing the Civil Rights Movement and the anti-Vietnam War protest organizations. Some of their most famous targets in later years were Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin, but a friend of mine got interviewed by them (or their staff; it's been a long time and I don't remember details) about his involvement in SDS.

Shocking! (1)

patternmatch (951637) | more than 4 years ago | (#31151392)

What's that? You mean a story that seemed to require all involved to be complete morons was revealed to be incorrect? You mean there was more to the story, which revealed that what really transpired was actually sort of reasonable? Shocking! Surely this is the first time this has ever happened.

Re:Shocking! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31151784)

a story that seemed to require all involved to be complete morons

Well, in Slashdot's defense, it *is* South Carolina...

hurrah for local government! (1)

retchdog (1319261) | more than 4 years ago | (#31151434)

Those damned activist judges on the Supreme Court, always working against individual liberties! What we need is more state governm...

Oh, wait.

founding fathers of the U.S.A. (1)

vxice (1690200) | more than 4 years ago | (#31151498)

Were all traitors, terrorists, radicals and patriots. Not all labels were applied at the time. An important part of the right to bear arms is denying the state the right to monopoly of force. "And what country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure." Jefferson

Don't worry (1)

tom.zombie (1742602) | more than 4 years ago | (#31151618)

There are plenty of archaic and unconstitutional laws still on the books; written and passed in some vain sort of attempt to change people. Look at any of the states that still have Drug Tax Stamps [norml.org] despite the very obvious evidence presented in Leary v. The United States [wikipedia.org] . Mostly these laws are passed, I guess, to add one more charge to some unlucky schmuck to keep them away from "good" society longer. There is a larger problem here that needs to be addressed by better persons than myself.

Ahhh... so it's an old law (1)

istartedi (132515) | more than 4 years ago | (#31152738)

The law is full of cruft like this. It's literally dead code. Legislators, by necessity, cannot simply cut code from "the program". They actually have to vote on all the changes. As frustrating as programming can be, can you imagine how it would be if you literally had to have a vote on every commit to the repository?

I used to work in a shop where we printed law books. I got to inspect the printing plates and sometimes had time to read them. My favorite was the law from some mid-western state that put a bounty of $5 on each gopher you shot. I wonder if they ever controlled the gophers. IIRC, it was when $5 was a lot of money.

OK... Google is my friend. it wasn't quite $5. [startribune.com] and more amazingly, people are still doing it.

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