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149 comments

The history of the award, and the need. (4, Interesting)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#13963338)

This is newsworthy? This is the same President who gave [lewrockwell.com] George J. Tenet the Medal of Freedom.

This is generally cronyism at its worst, and media attention getting at its finest. There is no Constitutional mandate or power. President Harry Truman enacted [medaloffreedom.com] the medal in 1945 and it was virtually ignored until JFK brought it back -- through an Executive Order [wikipedia.org] in 1963.

That same Executive Order also expanded the size of unconstitutional government by extending the "Distinguished Civilian Service Awards" board -- yet another cronyist bunch given very nice salaries* by the President.

I know the political spectrum is well covered here, but does anyone honestly believe a government that is trillions in debt needs a board to give out awards? Disregard any constitutional grounds and focus on the need of the governed. Can't an independent not-for-profit group do the same? BTW, Clinton also gave the award to some ridiculous recipients, so I'm not Bush bashing. This is just a waste of your money.

*There's almost no oversight or budget restrictions on what the board can be paid: Expenses. Necessary administrative expenses of the Board incurred in connection with the recommendation of persons to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, including expenses of travel of members of the Board appointed under Section 3 (a) of this Order, during the fiscal year 1963, may be paid from the appropriation provided under the heading 'Special Projects' in the Executive Office Appropriation Act, 1963, 76 Stat. 315, and during subsequent fiscal years, to the extent permitted by law, from any corresponding or like appropriation made available for such fiscal years. Such payments shall be without regard to the provisions of section 3681 of the Revised Statutes and section 9 of the Act of March 4, 1909, 35 Stat. 1027 (31 U.S.C. 672 and 673).

And the lies...? (0, Offtopic)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 8 years ago | (#13963372)

I need to know what the greatest lie is and who will be honored for it...from the justification for war and the [non-existent] WMDs, and Scooter Libby's lies about that CIA agent, to Iraq's imminent usage of a nuclear device in 45 minutes...and so on. Who will take that honor?

Re:And the lies...? (1)

Agarax (864558) | more than 8 years ago | (#13964299)

Apparently it will go to a drama queen on Slashdot who can't resist the opportunity to bash Bush even when it has absolutely nothing to do with the topic.

Why is he giving it now? Why not years ago? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13963384)

I think he's handing out the award now, because Vint Cerf (ICANN director) is backing Bush's proposal for US controlled DNS and taking Google with him.

Whether you agree or disagree with the USA control of DNS, if Vint Cerf was deserving of the award then he should have got it years ago, not JUST BEFORE a meeting on the future control of the Internet on 18th November.

Re:Why is he giving it now? Why not years ago? (1)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#13963396)

This is a very good point, why post AC? The award is generally given on the 4th of July. November is a little bit out of sync.

Re:Why is he giving it now? Why not years ago? (3, Insightful)

Zevon 2000 (593515) | more than 8 years ago | (#13963402)

Excellent point. On the other hand, it's certainly possible that no one in the Bush camp had heard of Vint Cerf before Europe started making noises about giving over control of DNS to an international group. Maybe they thought Al Gore really had invented the Internet?

Re:Why is he giving it now? Why not years ago? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13963553)

Maybe they thought Al Gore really had invented the Internet?

Okay, but who invented the other one?

Re:Why is he giving it now? Why not years ago? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13963635)

This is one of those times, I will have to say, if Vint Cerf has a spine, he will reject the award. More specifically, he should go along with the charade (this award and its giving is a charade after who Bush has chosen to give it to before) all the way until the medal is just about to be placed around his neck. Vint should take the medal, throw it to the ground, spit upon it, and leave. He could even wait until it is fully around his neck. Doesn't matter. If Vint Cerf has a soul (one that Bush can "look" into), he will reject the terrorism of the Bush administration as represented by this medal.

Re:Why is he giving it now? Why not years ago? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13964174)

Bush giving out a medal for civilian service? What terrorism! What a swine! ...

You realize how much of a retard you sound, right? Okay, good. Grow the hell up.

Re:Why is he giving it now? Why not years ago? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13964200)

" Bush giving out a medal for civilian service? What terrorism! What a swine! ..."

Bush giving out bonus's to people for agreeing with him? What terrorism, What a swine! ...

That's what cronyism is. If Vint had decency he would realize he's being used for short term politics and refuse it.

Re:The history of the award, and the need. (2, Insightful)

Zevon 2000 (593515) | more than 8 years ago | (#13963389)

You make some good points, but I'm not sure that the idea of the government recognizing public service itself is bad. What's bad is the cronyism, the recognition of questionably deserving recipients (Jack Nicklaus? Is playing golf well and being paid millions for it really constitute distinguished service?), and maybe even a board whose compensation isn't given proper oversight. Although I don't know about that last bit for sure.

What this feels like to me is a mix between Knighthood, the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and political party in the White House any given year sucking each other's lollipops. What would be legitimately cool would be an American Knighthood bestowed only on 1-2 deserving people a year. Keep the bar raised high, have to nominating committee serve for a small stipend and the prestige of serving on such a committee, and give us something we can be proud of. As is, it's just another bit of propaganda to mock, and I think we're all get sick of that (both the propaganda and the mocking).

And of course the real shame is when deserving recipients like Vint Cert and Robert Kahn are overlooked on /. because the merits of the award itself are so questionable. The world needs more Nobel Prizes, and fewer Walk of Fames.

Re:The history of the award, and the need. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13963603)

"but I'm not sure that the idea of the government recognizing public service itself is bad."

Then why not award it next year at the normal July 4th? He's using the award to play politics rather than on merit.

I wonder if Vint had chosen not to back Bush and hadn't convinced Google to go along, whether he would be getting the award.

Re:The history of the award, and the need. (2, Informative)

x8 (879751) | more than 8 years ago | (#13963582)

It looks like you missed copying the last sentence of the paragraph you copied from the executive order, which reads:

"Members of the Board appointed under Section 3(a) of this Order shall serve without compensation."

Or was this sentence intentionally left out because it contradicts your claim that the board is "yet another cronyist bunch given very nice salaries" ?

Very good points (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 8 years ago | (#13963658)

While Cerf is deserving of an award, its value is (IMO) diminished due to the number of people Bush has given it to. He's been basically giving them out like candy (and publicizing it) over the past two years, I'm getting the impression he's given out more than many of his predecessors combined. I hear about this medal in the media all the time now, it was never publicized much with previous presidents in recent history.

And as another poster said, while Cerf deserves the award for past accomplishments, he should have been given the award long ago. Cerf receiving the award now amounts to a kiss-up bribe from Bush to get Cerf's support for continued US control of the DNS system.

Why it's newsworthy (1)

slizz (822222) | more than 8 years ago | (#13963699)

This is newsworthy because it appears on the Google blog [blogspot.com] , which seems to be the main source of Slashdot news these days.

Re:The history of the award, and the need. (1)

slavemowgli (585321) | more than 8 years ago | (#13963819)

Very well said.

For that matter, if they really wanted to honour someone who's responsible for the Internet as we know it today, then Tim Berners-Lee would also have deserved one. But of course, Tim's a European, and we can't give awards to those pesky foreigners, now can we?

Re:The history of the award, and the need. (1)

flosofl (626809) | more than 8 years ago | (#13963964)

For that matter, if they really wanted to honour someone who's responsible for the Internet as we know it today, then Tim Berners-Lee would also have deserved one.

WWW != Internet

You do realize that Sir Tim built WWW on top of the bedrock that Cerf and others created?

But of course, Tim's a European, and we can't give awards to those pesky foreigners, now can we?

Well, considering it's the US Medal of Freedom, I'd say the list of foreigners that have one is pretty small. I know two popes have received one. It's probably as common as an US citizen being knighted in England.

Keep trying, you've almost got that "anything US does is bad" knee-jerk down pat.

Re:The history of the award, and the need. (3, Insightful)

fm6 (162816) | more than 8 years ago | (#13963841)

This is generally cronyism at its worst, and media attention getting at its finest. There is no Constitutional mandate or power. President Harry Truman enacted [medaloffreedom.com] the medal in 1945 and it was virtually ignored until JFK brought it back -- through an Executive Order [wikipedia.org] in 1963.
Dude, get a life. Cronyism is handing out jobs to underqualified friends. Dubya has certainly done his share of that, but it's not the same thing as handing out commerative tchatchkas to people he deems important.

BTW, there was only one president (Eisenhower) between Truman and Kennedy. So every prexy since Truman, with a single exception has done this.

allow me to get this joke out of the way first... (4, Funny)

schnits0r (633893) | more than 8 years ago | (#13963341)

KHAAAAAAAN.....yea someone was gonna say it, it may as well be me.

Re:allow me to get this joke out of the way first. (1)

discord5 (798235) | more than 8 years ago | (#13963362)

damn, you beat me to it :-(

As Seen on digg.com (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13963352)

Pfft, I read this days ago on digg. You know it was pretty newsworthy when Digg went down for a few hours Friday afternoon. You would think Slashdot would report on it? Is it not news for nerds? Why wouldn't slashdot have a blog entry about it? Oh wait...

MM Ok (5, Informative)

davro (539320) | more than 8 years ago | (#13963355)

Quote
"The medal was established by President Truman in 1945 to recognize notable service in the war.
In 1963, President John F. Kennedy reintroduced it as an honor for distinguished civilian service in peacetime. "

And this is considered peacetime ?

Re:MM Ok (1)

djward (251728) | more than 8 years ago | (#13963405)

The development for which they are receiving the award occurred during peacetime.

Re:MM Ok (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 8 years ago | (#13963449)

I'm pretty sure it is peace time. If you check the records, I'm pretty sure you'll find we have no unresolved declarations of war.

Re:MM Ok (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13963489)

North Korea comes to mind, but that's pretty much ignored nowadays.

Then there is "major combat operations in Iraq have ended" Iraq, which is a war, albiet probably not the original one.

Then there is that whole war on terror thing. Osama bin Forgotten...

Then there are the incursions into Iran and Syria that are going largely unreported. They are more like skermishes rather than a full war though.

Am I missing anything?

Re:MM Ok (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13963524)

Am I missing anything?

Yeah.. um... you know.. an actual war?

Re:MM Ok (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13963739)

Herm. lemee see...
1. Airstrikes...check
  a) aerial bombs...check
      -bombing campaigns
      -surgical strikes
  b) napalm...check
      -MK77
2. Ground battles...check
  a) small arms fire...check
  b) machine gun fire...check
  c) mortar fire...check
  d) landmines...check
  e) armored units...check
  f) anti-armor weapons in use...check
      -tow missiles
      -depleted uranium projectiles
3. Black ops...check
  a) boobie traps...check
      -IEDs
  b) snipers...check
  c) false flag ops...check
  d) propaganda campaigns...check
  e) torturing and execution of captured enemy...check
4. Costs
  a) soldier's lives...check
  b) POWs...check
  c) innocent civilian lives...check
  d) huge federal cost...check
  e) loss of world standing...check

Sounds like war to me. The only thing I see missing from what it is now is a serious naval component. The naval operations are mainly support at this point and exclusively from our side.

Re:MM Ok (0, Troll)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 8 years ago | (#13963565)

Yes. Muslim Extremists declaring holy war on the USA.
The fact you don't have any of -your- unresolved declarations of war doesn't mean there's no war.

Re:MM Ok (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 8 years ago | (#13963945)

Link [loc.gov] . Any comments?

Re:MM Ok (1)

Buzz_Litebeer (539463) | more than 8 years ago | (#13964084)

I really wish other people, you know the ones killing our soldiers in foreign countries, would agree with you.

Hell, if people only fought us because told them they could, things would be a hell of a lot easier.

Vint is supporting the president recently, so he is getting "paid" for it. The President is very kind to those who support him, hell, I heard once that he could get someone a job as a lead of a major organization with no previous work in the area of merit.

You're not really at "war". (2, Insightful)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#13963522)

Sure it is. Remember, the wars you guys are involved in are taking place on the other side of the world from you! You know, in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Things are very peaceful for you, since you're isolated away from all of the fighting itself. No warring is actually taking place in the United States.

Re:You're not really at "war". (1)

slavemowgli (585321) | more than 8 years ago | (#13963804)

No fighting took place in the USA during World War 2, either, though - at least not in the mainland.

Re:You're not really at "war". (1, Informative)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#13963875)

Indeed. The US was almost completely unharmed by WWII. That's why they became the superpower that they are today.

Structurally, Europe, Russia and Asia were devastated. The loss of American life in the WWII is estimated at approximately 0.42 million or so. Meanwhile, you have the Soviets losing 23 million. Germany lost around 7.5 million. For every 1000 people, the US lost about 3, the Soviets 136, and the Germans 107. On the Asian front, Japan lost about 2.6 million people, or approximately 33 for every 1000 of their population.

When compared to what other nations suffered in WWII, the US received a minor pinprick.

Re:You're not really at "war". (1, Offtopic)

Surt (22457) | more than 8 years ago | (#13963832)

On the other hand, the war on drugs is taking lives at a greater rate here in the US than the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts put together.

Re:You're not really at "war". (1)

Lisandro (799651) | more than 8 years ago | (#13963885)

Kinda reminds me of Roger Waters' "The bravery of being out of range"...

Re:You're not really at "war". (1)

operagost (62405) | more than 8 years ago | (#13964018)

No warring has happened since Islamic fundamentalists killed thosands of people on September 11, 2001 because we brought the war to them. I suppose we are supposed to invite them over so they can kill thousands more in suicide attacks?

Re:You're not really at "war". (-1, Offtopic)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#13964088)

There's more than enough to suggest that it was your own government that was responsible, not some "Islamic fundamentalists".

It'd take too long to get into here, but go do some research. Look into the numerous anomalies spouted by your government and your mass media. I imagine you'll dismiss them. But of course, any true American who does some real research will soon become aware that something just isn't right with the "official" story and Keane Commission whitewash. There are too many dots that just do not connect as they should.

It's the Juice? (1)

Grendel Drago (41496) | more than 8 years ago | (#13964171)

You forgot to mention how the Mossad spirited away all the Jews who would have been in those towers on 9/11. And how the Jews were pre-warned about the London bombings.

Or, in shorthand, "jews did 911 lol".

Re:MM Ok (1)

m50d (797211) | more than 8 years ago | (#13963554)

America is not at war with Iraq. America has never been at war with Iraq. Report to your nearest re-education centre immediately!

(The US can't go to war without (IIRC it's congressional) approval, something the war against Iraq didn't have, hence the doublespeak used when discussing it.

Re:MM Ok (1)

BushCheney08 (917605) | more than 8 years ago | (#13963604)

IIRC, the War Powers Resolution of 1973 gave the President the ability to use military force for 60 days before the situation needed to be revisited by Congress to decide if a formal declaration of war was needed. You may want to note that Bush's infamous "mission accomplished" speech took place about 40 days after the invasion began, thus negating the need for Congress to revisit the situation. Since then it has been an "occupation."

Re:MM Ok (1)

EiZei (848645) | more than 8 years ago | (#13963737)

Police action anyone?

Re:MM Ok (1)

Landshark17 (807664) | more than 8 years ago | (#13963974)

Congress has not declared war, ergo, it is peacetime. Even if we are fighting wars in Iraq and Afgahnistan.

Bush is a mutant chimp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13963356)

Fuck off USA

Let's not forget (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13963360)

Aretha Franklin won it, too. As long as we're talking about mighty national heroes, and such. Maybe we should show these two a little R- oh, god, I can't do it!

Re:Let's not forget (1)

game kid (805301) | more than 8 years ago | (#13963612)

Aretha kicks ass. R E S P-E C T!

Should we Winsock it to 'em?

Woo! (2, Funny)

failure-man (870605) | more than 8 years ago | (#13963369)

A useless, nationalist-buzzword-laden award from the most dangerous man in the world! What an honor . . . . .
 
If it were me I'd ask for the lesser award of "presidental medal of awesome." Also, it would come with double prize money.

Unfortunate it wasn't sooner (1, Flamebait)

suso (153703) | more than 8 years ago | (#13963370)

I find it less impressive since its being given by Bush. I realize that its more than the president that desides who receives such an honor. But still, for them to receive a medal of freedom from such a tyrant is disheartening.

Re:Unfortunate it wasn't sooner (0, Offtopic)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#13963626)

What stance does suso webhosting take on pro-Republican websites? Do you, as a host of content, actively remove Republican propaganda from your servers?

Re:Unfortunate it wasn't sooner (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 8 years ago | (#13963839)

But still, for them to receive a medal of freedom from such a tyrant is disheartening.

And you get modded +5 Interesting....

No slant on slashdot. Nope, none at all. Not one bit of bias what-so-ever.

With such irrational hatred, it's people like you that scare me, not the president.

Great, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13963391)

seeing Bush and "freedom" in the same sentence looks awkward.

WTF? (3, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | more than 8 years ago | (#13963397)

A boxer ... an actor ... a singer ... a different actor ... a baseball player ... a radio personality?

The Medal of Freedom?

So the requirements are ... what? It certainly isn't "distinguished service" anymore.

Re:WTF? (1)

Blu-Ray (906616) | more than 8 years ago | (#13963561)

you've forgotten to mention the golfer :)

Re:WTF? (2, Funny)

flyingsquid (813711) | more than 8 years ago | (#13963605)

So the requirements are ... what? It certainly isn't "distinguished service" anymore.

What do you expect him to do? Awarding medals to people who've done the nation a real service will just show what a poor job Bush has done serving the country.

He hasn't caught Osama, he's used false pretenses to launch us into a war in Iraq with no end in sight and turned that country into a breeding ground for terrorists, he screwed up royally on Katrina by appointing incompetent cronies, and he's created a massive budget deficit.

Instead, Bush gave medals last year to George "Slam Dunk" Tenet, and L. Paul Bremer, the guy who implemented de-Baathification and the disbanding of the Iraqi Army, two of the worst moves of the occupation. Trying to rebrand miserable failure as success. This year, the theme seems to be giving medals to celebrities, perhaps in hopes of distracting the nation from its real problems, problems which he's created.

Re:WTF? (1)

pipingguy (566974) | more than 8 years ago | (#13963630)


This is a PR event. American heroes are now TV personalities that the masses can relate to because they have already seen them on MTV. And emote.

People that die in terrorist attacks are given hero status. Anybody that dies in the line of duty is assigned hero status.

Popular culture tells us that firefighters and policemen "put their lives on the line every day", so they are necessarily heroes. That is nonsense. They do what they do, and they do not consider themselves as heroes, we pay them to do what they do.

What they do is admirable, noble and worthy of great respect, but until a fireman or cop puts his/her life in danger to save someone else they are not heroes.

Re:WTF? (4, Insightful)

Bogtha (906264) | more than 8 years ago | (#13963973)

George Orwell referred to misuse of words like this as "swindles and perversions":

Many political words are similarly abused. The word Fascism has now no meaning except in so far as it signifies "something not desirable." The words democracy, socialism, freedom, patriotic, realistic, justice have each of them several different meanings which cannot be reconciled with one another. In the case of a word like democracy, not only is there no agreed definition, but the attempt to make one is resisted from all sides. It is almost universally felt that when we call a country democratic we are praising it: consequently the defenders of every kind of regime claim that it is a democracy, and fear that they might have to stop using that word if it were tied down to any one meaning. Words of this kind are often used in a consciously dishonest way. That is, the person who uses them has his own private definition, but allows his hearer to think he means something quite different. Statements like Marshal Petain was a true patriot, The Soviet press is the freest in the world, The Catholic Church is opposed to persecution, are almost always made with intent to deceive.

-- Politics and the English Language [resort.com]

Throwing words like "democracy" and "freedom" around as generic terms of praise is not just poor English, it actively clouds peoples thinking and is often deceitful.

I'm confused (5, Funny)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 8 years ago | (#13963400)

the nation's highest civil award." Vinton Cerf and Robert Kahn -- for their design of "the software code used to transmit data over the Internet"

Shouldn't it have been Al Gore?

Re:I'm confused (1)

turgid (580780) | more than 8 years ago | (#13963443)

Shouldn't it have been Al Gore?

Uncle Jessie, for services to moonshine production.

Re:I'm confused (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13963468)

Shouldn't this joke be dead by now? Its been many years. Let it go.

Re:I'm confused (1)

Chapter80 (926879) | more than 8 years ago | (#13963498)

Tough to say who deserves it more for contributions to computing and the internet.... Vint Surf or Al-Gor-ithm.

Let's compromise and give it to the Jenni-cam girl [wikipedia.org] . What was her name again?

Yes you are (3, Interesting)

Mark_in_Brazil (537925) | more than 8 years ago | (#13963525)

Shouldn't it have been Al Gore?
Cerf and Kahn think so [interesting-people.org] .

Re:I'm confused (1)

phritz (623753) | more than 8 years ago | (#13963563)

Ahh ... the most successful reupublican talking point ever. A hilarious, utterly pervasive fabrication [snopes.com] . Slashdot needs a Snopes filter to weed out these idiots.

Re:I'm confused (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13963707)

Ahh ... the most successful reupublican talking point ever. A hilarious, utterly pervasive fabrication. Slashdot needs a Snopes filter to weed out these idiots.

We also need a fuckhead filter to weed out miserable, useless sacks of pig shit like you who can't tell when a poster is joking. Lock your ideology in a box for a while, dumbass. Or even better, slit your little wrists and just fucking die.

Seriously, you have to be the dumbest shit in the world to not realize the OP was joking. You are mentally retarded and should be culled.

Internets (2, Funny)

mabu (178417) | more than 8 years ago | (#13963434)

Shouldn't those guys get more than one medal? One for each of the internets?

And if they'd patented it.... (3, Insightful)

rdean400 (322321) | more than 8 years ago | (#13963441)

we'd still have a bunch of proprietary network islands floating in a sea of mediocrity.

Re:And if they'd patented it.... (1)

LaughingCoder (914424) | more than 8 years ago | (#13963756)

No, more likely they would be wealthy from licensing their patents. Either that or companies would have ignored the patents and gone ahead with products, forcing them to spend everything they had in a desperate and likely unsuccessful attempt to defend their patent rights.

Re:And if they'd patented it.... (1)

Burz (138833) | more than 8 years ago | (#13963801)

Either that, or we would all be islands floating in a sea of AOL. ;-)

Seriously, its interesting how promoting standards as "the greatest common denominator" actually works to everyone's advantage. Even AOL wouldn't have grown to the extent it did, if it weren't an easy way to "get onto the Internet".

Come to think of it, how many people bought Windows systems (or any computer) for the first time because they were easily bundled with Netscape and Trumpet Winsock?

Political Opportunism ? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13963486)

Is the reason they are being awarded the medal now a political publicity stunt connected with the ongoing row over who should control the Internet in the future i.e. George Bush saying to the public "Look, we invented it, we should control it !" ?

Vinton Cerf and DARPA? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13963491)

You mean TCP/IP wasn't developed and patented by a private company that invested billions in R&D?

They should turn down the medals. (4, Interesting)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#13963500)

It would be very noble of them to turn down the medals. Instead they should request that the money that would have been spent on the medals themselves, and any additional monetary award, be used towards the formation of an annual Nobel Prize-style award. The recipient could be an individual who has made a major contribution to computer networking.

Everybody in the field knows (or should know) that they are amongst the Gods of the Internet. Their fame has peaked. That is why it would be very sportsmanlike of them to help highlight the achievements of others in their field.

Re:They should turn down the medals. (3, Insightful)

s20451 (410424) | more than 8 years ago | (#13963555)

Firstly, there is nothing wrong with them accepting the prize money, or getting other money from sponsors, and establishing such awards themselves. Alfred Nobel was just a prviate Swedish citizen. For that matter there is nothing preventing you or I from doing the same.

Secondly, unless the money spent is in the neighborhood of $20 million (not likely), there would be no hope of setting up an annuity equivalent to a Nobel prize (which are worth about $1 million each).

Thirdly, rejecting a prize is insulting and generally doesn't make people willing to hear your suggestions as to how the money should be otherwise spent.

Re:They should turn down the medals. (1)

schon (31600) | more than 8 years ago | (#13963793)

rejecting a prize is insulting

Thank you, Captain Obvious.

and generally doesn't make people willing to hear your suggestions as to how the money should be otherwise spent.

And? The point isn't that the people giving the money will listen, it's that the people who *aren't* giving the money will listen. And they do.

Re:They should turn down the medals. (0)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#13964008)

They wouldn't be rejecting the prize. They'd be putting the prize to a far better use. Money spent on a medal that'll sit on some bookshelf or mantle is wasted. Money spent to promote innovation is not wasted.

Re:They should turn down the medals. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13963798)

Wow, you who aren't honored in this way think you should be able to tell them how to respond to their selection to receive these honors. Check your ego at the door please.

Not enough money (1)

everphilski (877346) | more than 8 years ago | (#13963947)

Given an 10% rate of return on investment, no overhead costs, 3% inflation rate, you could give out two prizes per year with a value of **seven percent** of whatever Vint and Robert are getting (which is a token amount, iirc). Not to mention there are overhead costs and inflation is a moving target.

Besides, who are you to tell these two men what to do? I mean seriously, what credentials do you possibly have to think you can tell these two "gods" as you say what to do? please...

-everphilski-

Jack Nicklaus? (5, Informative)

Evro (18923) | more than 8 years ago | (#13963501)

* Muhammad Ali. The three-time heavyweight boxing champion, who lives in Berrien Springs, Mich., successfully defended the title 19 times and was a gold medalist at the 1960 Olympic Games.

* Carol Burnett. The actress and comedian debuted on Broadway in 1959 and starred for more than a decade on "The Carol Burnett Show."

* Vinton Cerf and Robert Kahn. They designed the software code used to transmit data over the Internet.

* Robert Conquest. The historian is known for his work on Soviet history, politics, and foreign policy. More than 35 years after its publication, his book, "The Great Terror: Stalin's Purge of the Thirties," remains one of the most influential studies of Soviet history.

* Aretha Franklin. The singer has nearly two dozen No. 1 singles and has won numerous awards. The Detroit native was the first woman to be inducted into the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame.

* Alan Greenspan. He has been chairman of the Federal Reserve for the past 18 years.

* Andy Griffith. The actor first achieved national acclaim in the 1950s for his standup comedy routines. He went on to star in television shows such as "The Andy Griffith Show" and "Matlock" and numerous Broadway productions and films.

* Paul Harvey. The radio personality's broadcasts started airing nationally in 1951.

* Sonny Montgomery. A veterans' supporter during his 30 years as a member of the House of Representatives. The Montgomery GI Bill helped make education affordable for millions of veterans.

* Gen. Richard Myers. He recently retired as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

* Jack Nicklaus. The golfer won 18 major tournaments as a professional and more than 70 PGA Tour events.

* Frank Robinson. The current manager of the Washington Nationals, Robinson won most valuable player awards in both the American and National leagues. He broke the color barrier for managers, becoming the first black manager in Major League Baseball in 1975.

* Paul Rusesabagina. The hotelier's life was the subject of the movie "Hotel Rwanda," which depicted his courage and compassion in sheltering people at the hotel he managed during the 1994 Rwandan genocide.


Jack Nicklaus? How is playing golf now worthy of a "Freedom" medal? Sounds like a pretty worthless medal.

Re:Jack Nicklaus? (1)

pipingguy (566974) | more than 8 years ago | (#13963742)


Muhammad Ali -No
Carol Burnett -No
Vinton Cerf and Robert Kahn -Yes
Robert Conquest -Yes
Aretha Franklin -No
Alan Greenspan -Maybe
Andy Griffith -No
Paul Harvey - No
Sonny Montgomery -Yes
Richard Myers -Maybe
Jack Nicklaus -No.
Frank Robinson -No
Paul Rusesabagina -Probably

People's Choice (1)

DumbSwede (521261) | more than 8 years ago | (#13963797)

Yeah, gotta agree. Seems more like the Medal of People's Choice.
Maybe there should be a whole awards show for something like this.

Re:Jack Nicklaus? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13963828)

I agree - giving the award to Jack Nicklaus really demeans the achievements of more worthy recipients like Andy Griffith.

Re:Jack Nicklaus? (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 8 years ago | (#13964256)

Here's a hint: all of these people have a secret CIA employment record in common. This medal is the only way such lifelong undercover agents can be publicly recognized for their heroic efforts against our country's enemies. Notice how all of them spent significant amounts of time travelling all over the world.

Transmitting Data Over Teh Internets???? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13963528)

So will they get their Medal of Freedom BEFORE or AFTER they are locked away in a East European Gulag???

Gulags were in Soviet Asia not in Eastern Europe (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13963591)

you fuckin asshole

Re:Transmitting Data Over Teh Internets???? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13963777)

You know, you really might want to start getting your hard news from some other place.

Web sites devoted to screeching, psychotic hippie conspiracy theories might be entertaining, but they often lead to looking like a dumbass [iht.com] in the long run.

Not that this will stop you from repeating the Big Lie from now until the end of time, of course.

In other news... (3, Interesting)

sdo1 (213835) | more than 8 years ago | (#13963540)

API - Washington, DC. The FBI and local authorities today arrested Vinton Cerf and Robert Kahn at the behest of the MPAA and RIAA. "Their design of the software code used to transmit data over the Internet has cost the entertainment industry hundreds of billions of dollars in annual losses." said MPAA president Dan Glickman. "These two thugs deserve what's coming to them in prison." added RIAA president Cary Sherman. Meanwhile, Sherman and Glickman, working with congressional leaders, have drafted a bill to add "design of internet software" to the list of federal crimes eligible for the death penalty. "The crimes of Al Gore will not go unpunished." said Republican House leader Tom DeLay. "He invented this internet thing and it's destroying our way of life."

mod parent up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13963628)

+2 hilarious, -1 chilling

Re:mod parent up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13964173)

= +1 chillarious

Re:In other news... (2, Funny)

commo1 (709770) | more than 8 years ago | (#13963823)

If this were true... couldn't you see the collective heads of the MPAA and the RIAA shouting "KAHN!!!!!" while an overhead shot of their offices cuts higher and higher.....

What about Jon Postel? (2, Interesting)

merc (115854) | more than 8 years ago | (#13963543)

Yes, he [isoc.org] has passed away but he could have been given the award posthumously.

Re:What about Jon Postel? (0, Flamebait)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#13963581)

I don't think that a man as truly great as he was would really give a damn about a politically-charged bullshit medal such as this.

If Bush gave me a medal... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13963568)

...I'd wipe my ass with it and hand it back to him.

Re:If Bush gave me a medal... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13964315)

You mean you don't wipe after you finish up on the toilet?

Wow, you Bush-bashers really are that dumb, aren't you?

Thank god for speechwriters... (2, Funny)

jpellino (202698) | more than 8 years ago | (#13963702)

Bush's original draft read "that whole deal used to transmogrify data over teh Interweb"

Irony? (2, Insightful)

Drasil (580067) | more than 8 years ago | (#13963765)

The man at the head of the world's largest heirarchical power structure gives out "Freedom" medals.

"You're doing a heck of a job, Bobbie, Vintie..." (3, Interesting)

sakusha (441986) | more than 8 years ago | (#13963769)

The Medal of Freedom is generally considered the Kiss of Death to any career. But consider that Cerf was already awarded the National Medal of Technology by Bill Clinton in 1997. At least Cerf and Kahn got the Turing Award, which came with a $100k cash prize.

If you don't find this 'Newsworthy'... (4, Insightful)

Mulletproof (513805) | more than 8 years ago | (#13963829)

"This is newsworthy?"

Well let's see, these people only helped create a system that has not only impacted millions of people worldwide, but changed the nature of information dissemination and business commerce for you, your kids and their kids. You tell me if this is news worthy. On second thought, let me tell you. It's nothing short of revolutionary. Then you go about discrediting an example of another award, as if it somehow makes this any less newsworthy or deserving of recognition when it really has nothing to do with anything.

Yeah, some people will find the shit in anything if it's labelled Microsoft, Bush or [insertyourfavoritenamebrandehere], regardless of how deserving it is.. I thought we marked crap like this 'trolls'...

Mod parent troll (1)

kmmatthews (779425) | more than 8 years ago | (#13964014)

It's a joke because of the other people who get one, too. Actors? Golfers?

What, not Al Gore? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13963955)

He invented the internet ...

Well, the real question is... (2, Funny)

msormune (808119) | more than 8 years ago | (#13964041)

Is it better than the Amulet of Yendor? What are the stat raises with one of these?

And they say...... (1)

8127972 (73495) | more than 8 years ago | (#13964108)

......That Bush doesn't have a brain. I think this proves all of the naysayers wrong. Cheney must have had to stay up all night to come up with this.

A Political Statement (3, Interesting)

Steve B (42864) | more than 8 years ago | (#13964218)

Bush is underscoring the US position: we built it; you furriners who want to control it [slashdot.org] can go install a CAT5 cable where the sun don't shine.
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