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Wired interview with Steinhardt

CmdrTaco posted more than 12 years ago | from the stuff-to-read dept.

News 200

mlknowle writes "Wired has just posted a great interview with former EFF president and ACLU associate director Barry Steinhardt. In the interview, Steinhardt expresses concern that next year will be an even worse year for civil liberties. He does offer tips on what to do to help, however."

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$$ (5, Insightful)

irony nazi (197301) | more than 12 years ago | (#2768146)

Donate money to the EFF. For your Bday, ask that people donate money in your name.

Re:$$ (0, Offtopic)

blur00 (465185) | more than 12 years ago | (#2768182)

Or, instead, you could ask for a new pair of knee-high argyle socks. It's your choice, really.

Re:$$ (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2768199)

I was wanting a crack-pipe for my birthday, but I guess that can wait to next christmas

Yeah, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2768600)

The socks will keep you warm in the patriot labor camps.

Remember though, 'it's for the children'(TM) so that makes the years of working in sub zero temperatures for a thought crime worth it.

Re:$$ (1, Offtopic)

m_evanchik (398143) | more than 12 years ago | (#2768242)

The fact that the EFF needs monetary donations is evidence against the free (as in beer) software paradigm

Re:$$ (1)

irony nazi (197301) | more than 12 years ago | (#2768262)

I wouldn't agree that donating software to the EFF goes against their paradigm. The fact remains that good lobbyist efforts require money. The EFF represents MUCH more than free software! PLEASE understand that.

I also don't understand why my original comment is being moderated up. I honestly only wrote it to get a relatively on-topic first post.

Re:$$ (1)

irony nazi (197301) | more than 12 years ago | (#2768283)

Because I feel so strongly about it, I feel the need to follow up...

IMHO civil liberties are MUCH more important than free software.

One might argue that free software leads to more civil liberties and the whole freedom of information thing. But the fact remains that <INSERT VIDEO GAME MANUFACTURER> deserves to make money off of artistic design of both the graphics/storyline as well as the engine of their games. These don't need to be open sourced.

Re:$$ (-1)

core10k (196263) | more than 12 years ago | (#2768281)

Tut tut, as much as I hate GnobGobbler/Linux.2 and the entire GnobGobbler suite of 3rd rate programming/Sysadmin tools, I should point out that the EFF has little, or nothing, to do with free software.

I'm not sure how you came to the conclusion that it does, but I'm sure that it has something to do with that time you tripped and fell head first off of that cliff.

Re:$$ (4, Funny)

fobbman (131816) | more than 12 years ago | (#2768300)

If the government has a keystroke logger installed into the system that I use to send an electronic donation to the EFF, does that make me more of a suspect?

you are pathetic (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2768328)

He's whining about Carnivore and Echelon - but they were developed under Bill Clinton. Where was Barry then? - I'll tell you, he was standing in line next to Monica Lewinsky, waiting to stick his tongue into Bill Clinton's ass (literally).


While Bill Clinton burned to death two dozen children in Waco becasue he couldn't be bothered to get a search warrant, where was Silent Barry?


Sorry Barry, you and Morris Dees are no better than Jessica Mitford, the Jewish prostitute who wanted to marry Adolf Hitler. Jessica later married Robert Truehaft, who provided an internship for Hilary Clinton. The same Clinton who spouted the phrase "Fucking Jewish Bastard" at her husband's trusted (Jewish) campaign manager.


Grow up. sleazeball.

Small World (was Re:you are pathetic) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2768336)

Hitler kept his money in American banks owned by GWB-666's grandfather, Prescott.

Re:$$ - not while EFF and ACLU support spam (1)

gorbachev (512743) | more than 12 years ago | (#2768434)

I will NOT donate money to organizations supporting spam and spamming as "free speech". EFF and ACLU are two such organizations.

Errr, no, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2768612)

they don't.

Both organizations are on the side of the consumer in this respect.

FP (-1)

Fecal Troll Matter (445929) | more than 12 years ago | (#2768149)

I have reached Nirvana.

Steinhardt (-1, Offtopic)

Frank White (515786) | more than 12 years ago | (#2768164)

This guy rules! Why can't HE be President instead of that thief Bush?!

Re:Steinhardt (-1)

Fecal Troll Matter (445929) | more than 12 years ago | (#2768192)

'Cause he's got dirty Jew affiliations.

Re:Steinhardt (-1)

Frank White (515786) | more than 12 years ago | (#2768206)

Just as that kind of ethnic hatred has no place in the Kansas City Royals' front office, so does it not belong on Slashdot.

Re:Steinhardt (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2768241)

Your casual use of the word holocaust cheapens the plight of the Jews. You, sir, are an anti-semite.

Re:Steinhardt (-1)

Frank White (515786) | more than 12 years ago | (#2768289)

I'm confused - when did I use the word "holocaust", and when did Slashdot become so censorial? Are we no longer allowed to criticize the President of the United States?

Re:Steinhardt (-1)

five dollar troll (541247) | more than 12 years ago | (#2768309)

it was in your signature, right before you changed it to "biggie smalls is the illest", you detestable jew-eater. Why don't you go back to making jewskin lampshades, you fucking nazi sympathizer!!!! TERRORIST!!! TERRORIST!!!

Re:Steinhardt (-1)

Frank White (515786) | more than 12 years ago | (#2768366)

Why don't you go back to making jewskin lampshades, you fucking nazi sympathizer!!!!

Look, I don't know what you heard about what my grandfather's company may or may not have done in the 1940's, or whom you heard it from, but I think it's time we put this kind of hatred to rest and concentrated on what really matters - uniting to defend freedom before it's too late.

Re:Steinhardt (-1)

five dollar troll (541247) | more than 12 years ago | (#2768411)

In this age, in which retards can become presidents, and in which men can freely become women, what freedom have we? I ask of you, sir...WHAT FREEDOM HAVE WE??? I ask this in a purely rhetorical manner, and expect no reply.

And as fellow indulgers in the big fat bowl of freedom that america once was, i ask you - what is that thing growing from the tip of my penis?? If my penis becomes engulfed by this atrocious fungus, then the TERRORISTS HAVE ALREADY WON!!!

Re:Steinhardt (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2768310)

You changed your .sig you silly little man.

Re:Steinhardt (0)

Frank White (515786) | more than 12 years ago | (#2768196)

That was not Offtopic! You know, right now we may be so upset over September 11th that we think we should blindly follow everything our leaders say if it will lead to victory over terrorism, but remember this: if we give up our freedoms to destroy terrorism, the terrorists will have won.

new info (-1, Offtopic)

Sam4522 (546517) | more than 12 years ago | (#2768165)

Hello again, guys. I have more info on that vision that I reported earlier. You can read about it here: http://slashdot.org/~Sam4522. Some of you think I am crazy and some sort of goofball, but I'm being serious. I'm going to ignore everyone except the people who want to help me discover the Truth about my vision. So anyway, here's the new info I have: I called Art Bell on his radio show. He requested that I attempt to bring back the vision by sitting at my kitchen table again while eating breakfast. (Since the vision, I have avoided both breakfast and the table.) So this morning I did everything exactly the same way: ate hickory-smoked sausage, scrambled eggs, and a small bowl of Cheerios. At first I didn't expect the vision to return, BUT IT DID!! I saw the exact same vision: lights, spaceship, jibberish... Then, the jibberish started making sense. I know aliens don't likely speak English, but they were saying something directly to me. "Sam, Sam, we will come. Soon." Those words were just as plain as day. It seems like there was something else they said, but I really don't remember. I woke up from the vision still sitting there with cold sausage and soggy Cheerios. I will keep you guys updated on the progress I have in interpreting these visions. Try listening to Art Bell's radio show and you might here me. And no, I'm not crazy or trying to troll, so don't post those stupid comments after this post. I am quite sane and hold a full-time job.

Re:new info (-1)

Fecal Troll Matter (445929) | more than 12 years ago | (#2768181)

New info. [goatse.cx]

Re:new info (-1)

five dollar troll (541247) | more than 12 years ago | (#2768221)

I am quite sane and hold a full-time job.

You know, it was that line that totally blew your cover, you ass-ramming donut-puncher. Everyone knows that being sane has nothing to do with having a full time job. For example, I have a full-time job, and yet I've been declared criminally insane by fourteen trial lawyers and three doctors (one of them was my urologist!!).

I think the only way out for you is suicide. Doesn't matter how you do it, as long as you don't disturb anyone else. I've found that leaving your car running in a closed garage (while you're in the driver's seat, of course) is a nice, clean method. But be creative!! Use whatever tools are at your disposal!! Why go out and spend $300 on a pistol, when you're already wearing a perfectly good belt that you could hang yourself with???

Take it from me - another guy with a full-time job - you need to die.

3rd? (-1)

Fecal Troll Matter (445929) | more than 12 years ago | (#2768166)

Better lucky than good.

Re:3rd? (-1, Offtopic)

Frank White (515786) | more than 12 years ago | (#2768175)

3rd is mine, muddafucka!

Sun Spots (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2768169)

Shake your fist and you shake the universe. Just by moving the
mass of your hand back and forth, you are sending out ripples
in space and time - pieces of traveling gravity that distort
everything they meet. These subtle waves will race outwards,
warping the substance of the sun after about eight minutes,
and then heading out into the vastness of interstellar space.

When I wet diapers, I'm happy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2768190)

Although there is no universally accepted definition of cyberstalking, the term is used in this report to refer to the use of the Internet, e-mail, or other electronic communications devices to stalk another person. Stalking generally involves harassing or threatening behavior that an individual engages in repeatedly, such as following a person, appearing at a person's home or place of business, making harassing phone calls, leaving written messages or objects, or vandalizing a person's property. Most stalking laws require that the perpetrator make a credible threat of violence against the victim; others include threats against the victim's immediate family; and still others require only that the alleged stalker's course of conduct constitute an implied threat.

We've been saying what to do.. (5, Interesting)

dagoalieman (198402) | more than 12 years ago | (#2768194)

...unfortunately no one follows up. Really, how many Slashdot articles are posted here, and each time everyone says the same thing- "WRITE, fax, call you members, donate money, get other people involved, etc."?

And how many times do people follow through on this? We certainly have the power of numbers. If people would just practice what they preach, even in small amounts, we'd likely start to see things swing pretty well. The Skylarov rallies and press was good, and similar actions against RIAAssholes, but just one or two per year isn't good enough?

Seriously, how does the NRA do so well? They make sure people know they're still around at least once or twice per month. They flaunt it, without being holier-than-thou about it (most of the time.) And in numbers of greater than 50 at a time. If we can stop being anti-MS, and get to work, God only knows what we can do. The more public you are, the more people will start to see our side and work with us. And of course, the more MS will go after us (kinda like the NRA and anti-gun people..)

I'm not the best at practicing what I preach, but damnit, at least I do something. To those who already do too, great, keep it up. The rest of you who talk had best put some action behind those words, and the people who've stayed silent until now are certainly welcome to help out.

Re:We've been saying what to do.. (1, Troll)

Dave Walker (9461) | more than 12 years ago | (#2768213)

Damn, blew away moderator points earlier today!!

Mod UP! I've put my money where my mouth is; I donated $100 to EFF last year. I donate $20 a month to the Libertarian party.

Face it... at least in the USA, it ain't bits and bytes that grease the wheels, it's the GREENBACKS...

hah (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2768315)

That post was not even close to being a troll! See you in meta-mod you crack smoking moderator!!!

Re:We've been saying what to do.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2768361)

> I donated $100 to EFF
> last year. I donate $20 a month to the Libertarian party.
Nice and evenhanded. Supporting the useful fools of big biz nicely offsets the EFF donation :-/

Re:We've been saying what to do.. (3, Insightful)

WildBeast (189336) | more than 12 years ago | (#2768257)

True, Intel understood the game long before MS and donated money to avoid a lawsuit. Bill Gates refused to contribute and now he's got a lawsuit on his hands. But seems like he's repairing his mistake.

btw, not everyone on Slashdot lives in the US.

Re:We've been saying what to do.. (2)

fobbman (131816) | more than 12 years ago | (#2768343)

"btw, not everyone on Slashdot lives in the US.

True, but as long as current laws continue the way they are going US laws will govern the rest of the world.

Re:We've been saying what to do.. (5, Interesting)

renehollan (138013) | more than 12 years ago | (#2768292)

Well, it's tough to followup in this "click this link for immediate gratification" world, without a "click if you agree" link.

And, if we make it easy to click a link to send a canned email to a representative, well, it's just too easy, now isn't it? Furthermore, there has to be accountability: Does the email actually represent the sentiments of the signer? Is the signer a constituent?

On the one hand, personal letters, that take time to write, have greater impact, because of the effort. On the other hand, a well-written position paper, with thousands of verifiable signatures can be equally powerful, if not more so.

Why not, then, a site which contains position papers, or sample letters to elected representatives on issues of the day, as well as the means to register, and obtain a digital certificate with which to sign such letters?

The site itself could be position-agnostic, merely providing the technology. Position papers could be submitted in a manner similar to slashdot features, with comments, and rework due to feedback, prior to a final version being posted. Or it could be a link farm to similar such papers/letters. One would register once to obtain a digital certificate (yes, that would identify one), and could then sign those papers with which he or she agreed. Papers with a certain number of signatures would then be sent to members of congress, with an emphasis on congress-critters who elicited the most signatures from their constituents. If there were sufficient funding, printed copies could be mailed, though the current status should be available on-line at any time for browsing.

Re:We've been saying what to do.. (2, Informative)

boydtel (540012) | more than 12 years ago | (#2768605)

Actually, in the last two months one of NRA's ILA FAX alerts has been about how email is largely dismissed in the capitol. That's not to say you shouldn't do it, but I really echo the sentiment here that personal letters -bceause- they take time to write tend to have more impact. Do both, make your email a first draft of your letter. All just IMO.

Re:We've been saying what to do.. (1)

dmarx (528279) | more than 12 years ago | (#2768311)

"...unfortunately no one follows up. Really, how many Slashdot articles are posted here, and each time everyone says the same thing- "WRITE, fax, call you members, donate money, get other people involved, etc."? And how many times do people follow through on this?" If I consider the issue important, I do.

Re:We've been saying what to do.. (0)

Jonny Ringo (444580) | more than 12 years ago | (#2768507)

But what can I do, I'm just one man!

Re:We've been saying what to do.. (0)

Jonny Ringo (444580) | more than 12 years ago | (#2768521)

Shit, man. I barley even want to post on Slashdot let alone right to my congressman.

The Masses (5, Interesting)

Skyshadow (508) | more than 12 years ago | (#2768197)

I dunno; it seems to me like he doesn't really cover the central issue: most of the populace out there don't care about their civil rights beyond the ability to own guns and drive a truck capable of driving through a swamp and seating 17 (where they are regularly the only passanger).

I don't think you can reverse this sort of trend until people start acting like they give a damn -- the various opposition forces have way too much motivation. At best, the ACLU and EFF can only drag their feet while Ashcroft and the MPAA and Disney work to strip us of our rights.

You figure out how to make people give a damn, you let me know. The fact is that people are ignoring even the really outragous stuff, say, secret trials, indefinate detentions, eternal copyrights, limits to free expression, etc. Mindshare, I suppose -- that's what really, really matters.

Re:The Masses (1)

WildBeast (189336) | more than 12 years ago | (#2768216)

No, I don' belive they're ignoring it, I believe that most of the populace want to limit civil rights.

Sad, indeed but true.

Re:The Masses (0, Flamebait)

biohazard99 (114288) | more than 12 years ago | (#2768312)

I really think the EFF would do well to distance themselves from the ACLU. Many Americans have not been pleased with some of their wackier defenses (Gay scoutmasters in the boy scouts being one of them). Millions of Americans chose not to accept homosexuality as a healthy lifestyle to be promoting to their children and should have the final say when their dollars, not tax revenues are used to fund an organization, not the courts. As a college student I was quite upset that part of my "Student Activity Fee" went to groups and organizations that I had absolutely no interest in supporting (Campus Leftists, Amesty International, college democrats, gay, lesbian, and bisexual alliance, et al.) The public perception of the ACLU is one of negativity and therefore the EFF, when linked to it gets a bad reputation.

Re:The Masses (3, Insightful)

Danse (1026) | more than 12 years ago | (#2768340)

Millions of Americans chose not to accept homosexuality as a healthy lifestyle to be promoting to their children and should have the final say when their dollars, not tax revenues are used to fund an organization, not the courts.


Millions of Americans also find homosexuality to be perfectly fine, regardless of whether it is a natural trait, or a lifestyle choice. That said, I happen to agree with you on the boy scout case. Private organizations discriminate in all sorts of ways. That's their perogative. As long as they aren't getting a nickel of public funding, I couldn't care less.


The ACLU has also been a champion of much more sensible and noble cases. I don't believe that they have a universally negative image. Perhaps among conservatives, but for centrists and (to a lesser degree) leftists, the ACLU is generally a positive force. It helps to keep politicians honest in a way by forcing issues to light that otherwise could be swept under the rug.

Re:The Masses (4, Insightful)

Hostile17 (415334) | more than 12 years ago | (#2768385)

As a college student I was quite upset that part of my "Student Activity Fee" went to groups and organizations that I had absolutely no interest in supporting (Campus Leftists, Amesty International, college democrats, gay, lesbian, and bisexual alliance, et al.)

When I was a college student, I was upset that my "Student Activity Fee" was being given to the Campus Crusaders, Young Republicans, the Gun Club, at least one anti-abortion group and more Bible study groups then I can count, let alone name. As a taxpayer I do not want to pay for Reagan's failed "War on Drugs" nor do I want to pay for Bush's "War on Terrorism", I have little choice. And those choices are narrowing especially in the face of being called Anti-American for daring to use my Constitutional Rights of Dissent and Free Speech.

Re:The Masses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2768388)

That you could write this straight faced demonstrates why organizations like that are so desperately needed. Why don't you inform yourself before volunteering an opinion?

Re:The Masses (3, Insightful)

mosch (204) | more than 12 years ago | (#2768582)

Millions of Americans chose not to accept homosexuality as a healthy lifestyle to be promoting to their children and should have the final say when their dollars, not tax revenues are used to fund an organization, not the courts.
I agree... now how do I make sure that you never get any of my money indirectly again, you fucking prick?

Re:The Masses (4, Insightful)

deebaine (218719) | more than 12 years ago | (#2768339)

It is critically important to differentiate between those who do not "give a damn" and those who do, but disagree with the espoused viewpoint. I, for one, fit into the latter category. This debate--one of huge importance to this country at the moment--unfortunately is marked by incredible intolerance and divisiveness both from the right and the left; witness the suggestions that anyone who doesn't support Ashcroft's views is abetting terrorism, but anyone who does is a fascist pig. In fact, as in most arguments, there is a broad middle ground, and that's where I find myself.

With all do respect to the posted interview, it is long on sound, short on sense. I would like, for example, to see more about the unease beneath the "veneer" of public support. The latest Gallup [gallup.com] data suggests that only 10% of the populace thinks that the government has gone too far; 60% think it is about right, and 26% think that the government has not gone far enough. Approval ratings for Bush are historically high, and given my perception of John Ashcroft's views and character (I'm a Missouri refugee), his approval rating of 76% seems absurdly high. My views aside, to suggest that this is a veneer is either to suggest that Gallup's methodology is flawed or people are outright lying to the pollsters. Either suggestion, in my opinion, requires more backing than a vehement assertion.

Steinhardt also makes a clever reference to the "slippery slope" argument in his first response, suggesting that as we are now on a "war footing" (which I regard as blatantly untrue), and "apply[ing] the laws of war domestically, civil liberties will become a thing of the past as this war goes on "without an end." Though convenient, I don't really think this holds water; the only effort to apply the laws of war resulting from September 11th are the military tribunals, and they explicitly do not apply to U.S. citizens (and, lest anyone suggest that non-citizens receive the same Constitutional protections as citizens, that position is at best debatable even when the circumstances in question occur in U.S. territory, which it looks like they will ordinarily not here). And it largely goes unnoted by the left that the original order establishing the military tribunals has been gutted from its original draconian form, and now conforms much more closely to the UCMJ, and will include a right to appeal. It also goes unnoticed that in the first instance in which they could have invoked the military tribunals, the government did not; Zacarias Moussaoui was arraigned in Federal Court in Alexandria, VA.

My own politics are left-of-center, but I consider myself a liberal in the classical sense rather than in the post-Vietnam, anti-government, anti-military, anti-corporate sense. Unfortunately, the pundits whom I once considered to be my voice, or at least a useful voice of reason, have abandoned me, adopting a terribly hypocritical position that I regard as scarcely less dangerous to me and my rights than the equally ridiculous position of the far right. My concern is tempered, somewhat, by the knowledge that similar fights have occurred every time this country has gone to war. We--and our rights--have survived more serious conflicts than this; we will survive this one too.

-db

Re:The Masses (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2768469)

and, lest anyone suggest that non-citizens receive the same Constitutional protections as citizens, that position is at best debatable even when the circumstances in question occur in U.S. territory, which it looks like they will ordinarily not here

While I'm not sure that I've thought this through to my satisfaction, my first reaction is to apply the meta-principle to treat others as we would want to be treated. YMMV.

Re:The Masses (3, Interesting)

charon_on_acheron (519983) | more than 12 years ago | (#2768625)

I wish I could mod this up to 10, to make sure everyone would see it. It's not too often this viewpoint gets heard in reallife, much less here on /. . But it is the best way to look at the various situations. And you are right on every point you present. Most people are moderates, not a big surprise. The tribunals are not going to affect my liberties, since I am not a terrorist infiltrator trying to knock down buildings. And you didn't mention the national ID card idea, but i'm sure you don't like that plan (since you are left-of-center) any more than I do. By the way, I am right-of-center, but also classically liberal.

But what really got my attention was this line:
...incredible intolerance and divisiveness both from the right and the left....

I recently stopped listening to the 'talk radio' shows because I couldn't stand the ridiculousness of it. If Rush Limbaugh were to ask me about homosexuals, he would be upset that I think they should have all the same rights as anyone else, including gay marriages. But if the 'gay groups' were to ask me about discrimination, they would be upset that I don't support legislation or public school policiy targeted at sexual orientation harassment or discrimination. My point being that I think the "conservative right" and the "liberal left" are both pushing their agendas down our throats, and painting us evil if we disagree with any of their viewpoints.

There is one other topic that highlights this: racism. The Constitution of the US says that I have the right to my beliefs. That's the way I read the First Amendment and its "establishment of religion" prohibition. If I want to be Jewish, I can be and the government can't stop me. But it means more than that too. If I want to hate Asians, the government can't stop that either. I don't have the right to attack them, but I have the right to hold a sign that says I don't like them. Basically, in today's culture, it would just show how ingnorant a person can be. If the city council passed a resolution not allowing signs with racist messages, I would sue them and win. And the ACLU would count it as a victory for the freedom of expression, even though it would also further the goals of racism.

But many groups lately are forcing towns to not allow the Ku Klux Klan to hold parades. Or if the KKK does have a non-violent parade or rally, protestors show up to talk about the KKK's intolerance. It seems to start with a protest speech, then the crowd is led through anti-KKK chants, some insults are thrown around, and someone throws something at the KKK group. This of course sparks a fight, and the whole fiasco is played on the evening news.

The irony of the situation is that the anti-KKK protestors claim to hate intolerance, in all of its forms. But they can't see that their position is the epitome of intolerance. They don't want a group to express its beliefs because they disagree with those beliefs. They aren't there to have a debate with the KKK, they are there to shut them up, even if it means causing a riot to do so. And for the record, I am not a member of the KKK or any racist group, nor do I know anyone who is, and my family includes people of European, African, and Asian blood.

Anything That He Says is Bad... (0, Troll)

quakeaddict (94195) | more than 12 years ago | (#2768198)

Anything that he says is bad...is good.

The ACLU will fight to keep porn in and any concept of God out of any part of our society.

Sure they will fight for free speech for all, except those who disagree with the liberal ideology in which case they are obviously racist right wing fundamentalist anti-choice homophobes!

So if he thinks it will be bad next year then I say it will be a banner year for the rest of us normal folks.

Re:Anything That He Says is Bad... (1)

WildBeast (189336) | more than 12 years ago | (#2768211)

God prones freedom and love. An alien theory for the government currently in place.

Re:Anything That He Says is Bad... (-1)

Frank White (515786) | more than 12 years ago | (#2768215)

Oh, great, this nutcase gets +2 and they're modding ME down? Damn, sometime some media outlet is going to do a piece about racial prejudice on discussion boards, and Slashdot is going to get a real black eye.

Re:Anything That He Says is Bad... (2, Insightful)

Chris Parrinello (1505) | more than 12 years ago | (#2768238)

Except for those times that the ACLU defended the KKK's right to protest and march, the right of abortion protesters to protest, etc.

Don't let the facts get in the way of your rant however. Just keep repeating what you heard on Rush or Dr. Laura. It'll be easier for you.

Re:Anything That He Says is Bad... (2)

Arandir (19206) | more than 12 years ago | (#2768447)

Except for those times that the ACLU defended the KKK's right to protest

How insulting can you be! The poster complained of the liberal and anti-christian bent of the ACLU and you respond with the KKK. For your information, the KKK is NOT representative of conservatives or christians.

Re:Anything That He Says is Bad... (1)

H1r0Pr0tag0n1st (449433) | more than 12 years ago | (#2768249)

Funny thing is that they also defend the right of ignorant people to spout off about things that they have no clue about...
And BTW if "normal folks" dont watch pr0n then why does it make so much money?

Re:Anything That He Says is Bad... (3, Insightful)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 12 years ago | (#2768251)

While some members of the ACLU are hopelessly left wing to and extreme. The organization itself has tried its best to maintain its dignity. It has even defended the KKK because it realizes that if it want free speach it has to be all the way, and fair. Please do some research before you post next time. I know the ACLU is spoken of horribly among right wingers, (and there have been times when the ACLU has deserved its reputation) but please, think for yourself, and find out whats really going on.

Re:Anything That He Says is Bad... (3, Insightful)

Soko (17987) | more than 12 years ago | (#2768297)

Besides being an obvious troll, you sound like a Christian, so I'll take a chance on that assumption, friend.

The ACLU will fight to keep porn in and any concept of God out of any part of our society.

Being of a Christian bent myself, I shake my head in dis-belief every time something like this is said. Whose "God" are you referring to, here? If it's the Christian God, you are presumming that yours (that of a Christian view, puritanical, police state) is the only valid point of view. Forcing Christian morals down throats is a problem, not a solution. I suggest you approach the problem as Our Saviour would - dissuade those "sins" with kind words and deeds befitting the name "Christian".

Sure they will fight for free speech for all, except those who disagree with the liberal ideology in which case they are obviously racist right wing fundamentalist anti-choice homophobes!


No, they dissagree with those who wish to limit our choices to one view - such as yourself. Please don't confuse Liberty with religion - there is only problems and not solutions in doing so. As Voltaire said, "Liberty then is only and can be only the power to do what one will. That is what philosophy teaches us. But if one considers liberty in the theological sense, it is a matter so sublime that profane eyes dare not raise themselves to it."

Soko

Re:Anything That He Says is Bad... (4, Insightful)

tshak (173364) | more than 12 years ago | (#2768461)

Besides being an obvious troll, you sound like a Christian, so I'll take a chance on that assumption, friend.


Actually, he sounds like a religious zealot, which is arguably the antithesis of Christianity.

Absolutely! (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2768318)

I've always found it strange that the ACLU will go to any lengths to protect some freedoms, like free speech, 1st amendment, but are completely silent on others, like gun rights in the 2nd amendment.

I would argue that our 2nd amendment rights have been violated and destroyed more than any other civil liberties, with waiting periods, background checks, and other nutty gun control laws.

Shouldn't the ACLU be doing something about this, and not leave just the NRA to defend us?

Re:Absolutely! (2)

CokeBear (16811) | more than 12 years ago | (#2768393)

The ACLU, the NRA and the EFF each has a specific mandate. The ACLU defends the first amendment, while the NRA defends the second amendment. I don't see any hypocracy in ACLU position, since they clearly state their views, and the 2nd amendment has a very able defender in the NRA.

Re:Absolutely! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2768489)

actually, if you just look at their web page, [aclu.org] they defend more than just the first amendment. anti-death penalty, women's rights, are some other things the aclu will valiantly fight for.

And the moderation on the parent is proof that moderators are using their privileges to advance their agenda and silence dissenters.

Re:Anything That He Says is Bad... (1)

cscx (541332) | more than 12 years ago | (#2768362)

What is sad is that Slashdot moderators moderate stuff as 'Troll' if they don't agree with it... not restraining it when someone is legitimately trolling. Which is why I don't really care anymore... this place while heralded as a place of free speech, is really a place of 'free speech... if we agree with it...'

I totally agree with your view. This article isn't 'news for nerds' but 'news for libertarians.' Not all nerds are libertarians.

Re:Anything That He Says is Bad... (1)

Danse (1026) | more than 12 years ago | (#2768437)

What are you talking about? He basically said that porn is bad and Christianity is good, and if you aren't in favor of outlawing porn and mandating Christianity, you are abnormal, and therefore your opinion is irrelevant. How can that not be considered a troll (albeit a hamfisted troll)?

Re:Anything That He Says is Bad... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2768548)

Yeah that's exactly what he said, idiot.

Re:Anything That He Says is Bad... (2, Flamebait)

Arandir (19206) | more than 12 years ago | (#2768401)

The ACLU is all for certain clauses in the First Amendment. For the remaining clauses, they are either ignored or twisted out of recognition. Regarding the Second Amendment, I doubt most members of the ACLU even know it exists.

It's time for those who truly understand what civil liberties are to abandon the organization that abandoned civil liberties.

Re:Anything That He Says is Bad... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2768556)

and 'civil liberties' means the right to keep a small arsenal at home, the rights of the 'unborn' to not be 'murdered', the rights of good God-fearing Christians to prey in school, and the rights of the government to do whatever they want in the name of national security?

How exactly did the ACLU abandon civil liberties? Just because they don't defend all civil liberties, it doesn't mean that they aren't defending some very important ones.

old news (1)

imrdkl (302224) | more than 12 years ago | (#2768204)

Most of the topics he discusses have been covered in depth and ad nauseum here. Write your representatives to express your well-informed dissent, and encrypt everything to express your liberty.

egg troll (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2768218)

Thank you for the diaper sex. It was most enjoyable. I look forward to seeing you on Valentine's day. THis time, I'm thinking about something else. Do you have any suggestions?
I love you egg troll!

Stephen King, author, dead at 55 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2768223)


I just heard some sad news on talk radio - Horror/Sci Fi writer Stephen King was found dead in his Maine home this morning. There weren't any more details. I'm sure everyone in the Slashdot community will miss him - even if you didn't enjoy his work, there's no denying his contributions to popular culture. Truly an American icon.

/dev/penis (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2768229)

The long awaited /dev/penis tool is here! licenced under the GPL (genral penis licence) it allows you to command your penis from the command line, as used by Commander taco (his "commander" is his penis and thats how he commands it) A port is also under development for the Penis bird [rotten.com]

Patriotic Article (2, Interesting)

alacqua (535697) | more than 12 years ago | (#2768231)

Here's [mediaworkshop.org] a patriotic article about the topic to counter this drivel. It was originally at the onion [theonion.com] but it doesn't appear to be archived there.
Note for the sarcastically challenged: read the link.

Tina Yothers, age 28, found dead (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2768244)

Tina Yothers, age 28, star of "Family Ties" and the short-lived "Tina Yothers" show was found dead in her mobile home last night. Even if you didn't have sexual fantasies about her when she was 12, I'm sure you've enjoyed her breasts. Truly an american white trash icon. The Slashdot community salutes you!

U.S. vs. international situation (1)

Zarathustra.fi (513464) | more than 12 years ago | (#2768248)

I'm talking with very little knowledge here, but I've got a gut feeling. As the situation for free speech and other civil liberties gets worse in the United States, it seems there's a counter-force occuring in other western countries.

I believe (and indeed hope), that these people in Europe and elsewhere are understanding the situation in States and the things that lead to it. And thus make the necessary initiatives which guarantee that things will not go wrong in their own countries also. Sometimes we learn from good example, sometimes from bad example.

Therefore, I believe the situation globally isn't worsening, but instead holds in a sort of status quo.

Hopefully, after this situation is over, the politicians in the States will feel both the internal and external pressure to bring things back to a more international standard level.

Re:U.S. vs. international situation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2768427)

> Hopefully, after this situation is over, the politicians in the States
> will feel both the internal and external pressure to bring things back
> to a more international standard level.
You are probably right, but that's only partial comfort. You (as I) live in a country that is likely to remain largely unaffected by most of what happens in the USA. The American people themselves and large parts of the rest of the world are not that lucky.
We cannot afford to be 'philosophical' about it.

Situation in Canada... (2, Interesting)

Weedstock (322410) | more than 12 years ago | (#2768479)

has already worsened. The parliament enacted laws that allow police forces to arrest any person that may be related to terrorist activities without any legal mandate.

Three of my friends have already been arrested. One of them was caught with a bag full of flour and was accused of possessing Anthrax powder. He has been in jail since the beginning of december and I don't know when he will be released.

Both of the others were arrested because they wanted to organize a gathering in front of the Israel Embassie to protest against attacks in Palestine. Unfortunately, it seems that some people misunderstood them and they were accused of "Wanting to organize a riot". They have been in jail for 2 weeks and I don't know when I will hear from them.

So, situation in Canada is now dangerously worsening and I think that we must wake (In USA and Canada) and protest against this step toward dictatorship.

Reply from Congressman.... (5, Interesting)

Bonker (243350) | more than 12 years ago | (#2768265)

Just after 9-11, when the Patriot Act bill sailed through congress despite glaring problems, I wrote a letter to Larry Combest, my representitive, detailing what I thought the problems were with the act and my general displeasure with the erosion of civil liberties in the name of war.

Now, the return letter was delayed until just a few days ago simply because congressmen couldn't use DC mail facilities because of the Anthrax scare (My letter was sent before the first anthrax case...), but in the form-letter reply, the congressman claims that he and his comrades are doing their best to balance civil liberties with the rigors of war.

This should tell us a few things:

Our congressmen have had the shit scared out of them. That a form letter directly addresses my complaints about the erosion of civil liberties means that I am one of many who has written in complaint. I live in a *very* conservative part of the country and Combest is a very typical representative of the luddite mindset around here. If he is admitting there is a problem, then you can bet that *every* congressman knows there is a problem wether he will admit it or not. They know that the people are upset and are making noise, and are in the process of trying to quiet that noise.

There is already massive distrust in Washington for George Bush and John Aschroft-- at least toward their war-time policies. If people who are concerned about their rights being taken away continue to hound their congressmen about it, the problems do have a good chance of being addressed rather than being ignored.

Remember that a lot of your congressmen are simply scared, afraid to go against the flow because of the reprecussions. If you show them (with massive amounts of mail) that you want positive change rather than negative change, it might strengthen their spirits a little.

The best part of this is that most congresspeople now prefer email to snail mail because there is no chance of contracting anthrax from Outlook. Of course they could always get Nimda, but I'll give my congressman the benifit of the doubt and assume he patches.

Re:Reply from Congressman.... (4, Informative)

clark625 (308380) | more than 12 years ago | (#2768352)

Form letter responses don't mean anything. You can believe that it means a lot of people have been complaining, but the reality is that some intern probably read your letter and then picked the form letter that fit best to your plea. It often is rare for a congressperson to reply individually to a request.

I wrote to my congresswoman about a year ago regarding the DMCA. To my surprise, I didn't receive a form letter (regardless of who actually wrote it), and it did have her signature. My guess, though, is that she wrote it herself by the way things were worded (I had spoken to her in person a couple of times prior).

My guess is that your congressman was just trying to blow you off. What does he care, if as you say he's in a conservative district and very likely the best way to get re-elected is to be a prick to civil liberty nuts? He can't just not respond--that's rude and that will get him in trouble with his constituents. Instead, a form letter at least gives you some feeling that he "cares" about your views.

If you really want to get an honest response from a congressperson, I have a few tips. I'm certain that you followed a few of these, but other readers might enjoyt them as well. First, actually type your letter, and sign it in BLUE ink so that it shows you took the time to write a personal letter. Second, always say that you voted for the individual; and that for the most part you are happy with his/her performance (no one wants to read a hate-letter from some right or left wing zealot). Third, say that you understand that the life of a congressperson is not easy; and that often it is difficult to know everything there is to know about every single issue that Congress will take up. Some people feel that their representatives need to be god-like in their knowledge; but reading mountains of paper and trying to create your own legislation at the same time is darn near impossible. Lastly, bring your concerns up with regard to a SINGLE issue. Explain your reasons in as much detail as possible (without taking up several pages), and never resort to "dirty politics" by threats or other nasties. Congresspersons love to write people off as nuts when 95% of their incomming mail is hate mail from the 5% of their constituents that are loud and obnoxious.

Re:Reply from Congressman.... (1)

JWhiton (215050) | more than 12 years ago | (#2768439)

If I may ask, who was the congresswoman you wrote to?

A few months back I wrote to Senator Maria Cantwell (she's a democrat from Washington State, where I live) as part of an English assignment. I wrote about those silly export laws that restrict companies from exporting computers over a certain MTOP (Measured(?) Theoretical Operations per second) limit. I said they were counterproductive and needed to be repealed. To my surprise, a few months later I got a letter back saying she agreed with my point of view and was sponsoring a bill that would help address the problem.

I don't know if she or an aide actually did the writing, but I was impressed that she'd actually heard of the problem.

Pryce (2)

clark625 (308380) | more than 12 years ago | (#2768546)

The congresswoman I wrote to was Deborah Pryce, a Republican from the 15th district of Ohio. It's just to the west of Columbus, Ohio (I live in the suburbs). She's a very nice lady, and really does a remarkable job in my opinion. She's also the highest-ranking Republican woman in the House currently, too. I'm not sure that gives her a huge amount of power... but she does seem to carry more weight than some of the other congresspersons.

Re:Reply from Congressman.... (2, Interesting)

Versa (252878) | more than 12 years ago | (#2768387)

I wish. Right after the sept 11th I sent a letter to every state rep/senator I could in my state about NOT passing the anti-patriot bill. I received a single reply 2 weeks ago from one of them. A form letter apologizing for not being able to read my letter due to the anthrax scare. At the end of the letter it said, but don't worry, we succefully passed the anti-terrorist patriot act. And we're trying to do more.

Nothing like that to piss me off and show me the futility of even trying to do thing according to the law. The normal way doesn't get stuff done. Maybe if some nut climbs the bell tower with a gun or something they might take notice, but I doubt it.

Re:Reply from Congressman....a bit OT (1)

Silver222 (452093) | more than 12 years ago | (#2768626)

You know what pissed me off about the whole anthrax thing? The house of reps and the senate both went running off and hid like scared little girls, but they made the postal workers go to work. If that isn't a great example of the little guy getting screwed, I don't know what is.

Slow day at work or what? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2768266)

no text follows.

Steinhardt, what about justic for the victims? (-1, Troll)

garoush (111257) | more than 12 years ago | (#2768275)

Steinhardt: "(The government has detained) more than 1,000 Arab-Americans, sometimes without counsel. It appears there are secret hearings and secret incarcerations"

When I read the above statement, I stop reading the rest of the interview.

Yes, yes, yes, I agree that the government is doing all those "bad" things -- but for heavens sake, HOW ELSE can the government bring to justice those who commit crimes in the worse imaginable form?

BTW: many of those detained are here "illegally" -- why is it considered injustice to hold them if they broke the law of the land?!!!

Re:Steinhardt, what about justic for the victims? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2768288)

Racist bastard. ;)

Re:Steinhardt, what about justic for the victims? (1)

Green River (538461) | more than 12 years ago | (#2768303)

> Yes, yes, yes, I agree that the government is
> doing all those "bad" things -- but for heavens
> sake, HOW ELSE can the government bring to
> justice those who commit crimes in the worse
> imaginable form?
The problem here is not the fact that they're being detained. It's that they're being detained *without counsel* and *in secret*; also, many of these detainees are being selected for being Arab foreigners, not for any crime they may have committed.
We give our criminals the right to an attorney, as well as a trial. Hell, convicted felons have been set free when that right is violated. We should give these detainees the same rights.

Re:Steinhardt, what about justic for the victims? (2)

fobbman (131816) | more than 12 years ago | (#2768329)

"BTW: many of those detained are here 'illegally' -- why is it considered injustice to hold them if they broke the law of the land?!!!"

What of those who were here legally who were detained simply because they were of Arab lineage? Have we not learned from the mistakes made when hundreds of thousands of Japanese-Americans were detained in WWII?

Surely we should have detained more angry white men after Oklahoma City.

Avoiding keyboard loggers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2768290)


There was an article a few days ago on ./ about using a point and click password system showing pictures. Seems like that would be the perfect way to avoid the spectre of FBI keyboard loggers by showing a randomized set of pictures for the user to click in sequence to input passwords.

I'd like to see the FBI come up with something (short of TEMPEST) to 'log' that.

HELP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2768294)

My penis has a hangnail!

They never say to each other... (-1)

Fecal Troll Matter (445929) | more than 12 years ago | (#2768295)

"Let's smoke a marijuana cigarette."
They say,
"Let's 'turn on'."
or
"Let's 'blast a joint'."

Everyone (1)

mlknowle (175506) | more than 12 years ago | (#2768322)

I can't belive that people will post complaining about the ACLU becase of who it has represented ... guess what - freedom needs to apply to everyone - even people you don't like (otherwise we wouldn't really need it...)

Re:Everyone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2768636)

Yeah, it never fails to amaze me how republicans and conservatives believe that freedom and civil liberties shouldn't apply to people or groups whose beliefs they disagree with. If, for example, you believe in the right of the people peaceably to assemble, then you can't say it doesn't apply for ACLUers or even KKK bastards, as much as you may despise either one of them. Wake up people. We are moving towards a police state, and if you think that the bills that are being passed in congress can be easily undone when they aren't appropriate (I would argue they're not now, but that's another issue), think again. Bush, Ashcroft, et al. are eroding our most basic freedoms. Today it's Arab Americans; perhaps tomorrow it will be free-speech advocates who criticize the war effort.

To all you conservatives: "I disapprobe of what you have to say, but will defend to the death your right to say it." - Voltaire (paraphrased) - You can't pick and choose amongst the civil liberties that are guaranteed us by the constitution, and you can't pick and choose who gets those rights.

I hate v-tax! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2768334)

Fuck v-tax, its pointless and crap! please kill the v-tax man and please Support The Goatse Foundation [goatse.cx]

Worlds crappiest linux distribution? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2768368)

Here it is [secos.uni.cc]

Or is this it [lesbian.mine.nu]

New news category needed (0, Offtopic)

seldolivaw (179178) | more than 12 years ago | (#2768377)

"Stuff we steal from Wired"

Actually, it might not be all that useful, since it would include 50% of the all the stuff on Slashdot anyway :-)

My two points' worth... (3, Interesting)

Tsar (536185) | more than 12 years ago | (#2768481)

There is, of course, more than one side to this issue.

On one hand, American cultural mores dictate at least an appearance of privacy and security in one's person and one's papers. In many ways, Americans define themselves by the degree of privacy that they have been able to acquire.

On the other hand, we expect our government to protect us from attack and wrongful injury. We expect it to be proactive in discovering and analyzing any threats to its citizens, and become irate when it is unable to predict such a threat, even when such a prediction would have required violations of privacy.

On the gripping hand, though, analyses that would bear useful results in most times might not do so now. We are in the cusp of a sea change from a peacetime to a wartime footing. We look at war-based policy changes through a peace-shaped perspective.

There are a couple of old definitions that come to mind:
  • Conservative: A liberal who has been mugged.
  • Liberal: A conservative who has been arrested.
How would we now define a Post-9/11 American? How will our existing knowledge that we can be die anytime, anywhere—coupled with the new awareness that a small but significant fraction of the world's population is willing (and increasingly able) to do make that happen—affect our perception of civil rights issues? I would predict that a shift of equilibrium is occurring, and it'll take another couple of years before the new balance point is reached. It will be interesting then to look back on Your Rights Online posts [slashdot.org] from this period and see how drastically our own positions have been altered by time and events.

Of course, some believe that the government sees the situation as simply an opportunity to curb civil rights (some even think they orchestrated the whole thing [google.com] ). Personally, I think most people just want as much information as they can get, that can possibly let them achieve their goals more effectively. That goes for everyone from DIRNSA to my network administrator. Heck, even the Slashdot editors can read the IP's of anonymous posters [slashdot.org] .

My theory is this:
  1. Privacy will continue to erode.
  2. The more we grouse about privacy, the more secretive the 'eroders' will be.
  3. The best we can hope for is a future where monitoring is directly observable, so surveillance will come at some cost to the perpetrator.
This must be a hot topic, as it's the second time today [slashdot.org] that I've commented on it, and I don't have that much free time today.

How come Wired articles are posted as "news?" (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2768506)

Wired is such a joke. Every month its like "This technology is whats hot and whats new and whats going to change the world!" and the technology promptly belly-ups. Case in point: A cover story about 2 years ago about smell-o-vision. A *cover* story about how we were going to be able to smell web sites, etc etc. I smelled something alright, and it didn't smell good. All hype, no substance.

Oh, and please send me another CueCat. And can you make one that vibrates? The wife thinks its great.

Ignore this (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2768508)

I'm just doing a little test ... sorry for wasting bandwidth/drive space.
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