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'Citizenship' not Censorship

Hemos posted more than 14 years ago | from the taking-it-all-away dept.

United States 377

ronfar writes "The Latest Senatorial Attack on American Freedom. I'm not sure why I care anymore, except that my freedoms are going down the drain along with everybody elses. I mean, it's pretty obvious that the Leibermans, Gores, Bennets and Bauers of the world feel secure in forcefully turning this country into an authoritarian state. The sad thing is that when people finally realize how much they've lost, they will no longer have the power to do anything about it. Our democracy is committing suicide, I just wish someone would intervene and take the razor away before it slits its wrists. "

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So get out and vote. (2)

Manuka (4415) | more than 14 years ago | (#1703338)

If you want to effect change, get out and take your voice to the polling booth. We'll have that opportunity once again here in the US this coming November in many cases, and next November for everyone.

You know what sucks: (1)

crayz (1056) | more than 14 years ago | (#1703341)

What sucks is that we've got people like Bauer and people like Lieberman and Gore promoting this bullshit. It seems the only thing Democrats and Republicans agree on is that we should have less freedom.

Fuck you very much, guys.

the worst (1)

Fideist11 (70614) | more than 14 years ago | (#1703344)

as a student i felt the worst attempt so far at purging our rights by the right-wing republican congress was the bill enstated earlier this summer that proposed we display the ten commandments in all the public schools! Whatever happened to freedom of speech? The congressman argued that if the ten commandments had been displayed in Colorado the Columbine Shootings would've never taken place! Amazing how they seem to think religion can cause peace when it seems to me, according to that last european history class of mine, religion has caused more genocide and warfare than anything in history...

It's not suicide, it's desperation (1)

muwahaha (85166) | more than 14 years ago | (#1703349)

This isn't happening because the government
specifically wants to take away your freedom.
It's that they feel like they're losing control,
and justifiably. For instance, what is going to
happen to taxation when all financial transactions
can be conducted anonymously, under the auspices
of any government in the world, and records of
them can be stored with unbreakable encryption?
Taxation will be voluntary, and governments are
going to lose a lot of power.

Their struggles won't matter in the long run, I think.
Encryption and knowledge-based markets shift the
balance of power too far in favour of the
individual for totalitarianism to be feasible


Re:So get out and vote. (1)

Mason (4711) | more than 14 years ago | (#1703352)

Manuka wrote:
If you want to effect change, get out and take your voice to the polling booth. We'll have that opportunity once again here in the US this coming November in many cases, and next November for everyone.

Voting is great, but the problem is apathy. Folks are willing to let other folks decide the course of their lives for them. Getting people into voting booths is a pretty random solution. Educating people - paying attention to schools and dumping way more money into them than we do now - is the correct and only solution. Laws are guidelines, and can change. An educated, informed, and concerned populace will require laws to be changed as needed. Randomly getting folks to support or disparage the faddish law of the moment won't bring about any sort of lasting change.

Vote Libertarian (2)

binarybits (11068) | more than 14 years ago | (#1703355)

The Libertarian party [] is the only American political party that is 100% pro-freedom. We support privacy and free speech in all issues, all the time. We support free crypto and zero government regulation of the net and other media. You're exactly right: there's not much difference between the major parties. But the LP *is* different, and it's a great way to send the message that you're fed up with government encroachment on our freedoms.

Religion Is Alright, but... (2)

sterno (16320) | more than 14 years ago | (#1703356)

First thing is that this isn't a first amendment/fredom of speech issue. This is a seperation of church and state issue. Personally, I think it is fine if they can post the 10 commandments, as long as they will allow anybody else to post any other religious doctrines in the same place. I'm sure that the religious right will get irritated very quickly when we start getting posts from Wiccans and the Church of the Subgenius.

Since they aren't willing to have everybody's religion represented then they shouldn't represent any. And about the ten commandments effect on this situation. Do they honestly think that these children didn't know the ten commandments? Even if they didn't, they don't mean anything if the kids don't believe in them. What a bunch of self-righteous ignorant bastards we have in congress!!


And another thing... (2)

crayz (1056) | more than 14 years ago | (#1703450)

The article is right where it talks about how subjective the ratings are. I think that at least the MPAA has been good about taking each one case by case.

For instance, "Saving Private Ryan", and IIRC Shindler's List also, would probably have been rated NC-17 if they were different movies(in terms of what they were depicting). However, Saving Private Ryan was not showing violence for the sake of violence, it was realistic. Same with th nudity in Schindler's List.

Because of that, the MPAA gave Spielberg a break, and put on R ratings(it was also because the films could be viewed as educational, and an NC-17 would've made sure no kids could see the movies).

I don't see a problem ... (3)

seth (984) | more than 14 years ago | (#1703453)

Okay, from what I skimmed, this law says that people must properly label their products so that parents, school, etc can make proper and informed decisions.

What is wrong with that?

If I were a parent, I would want to know if a product contained what I judge as inappropriate content for my children to view.

That isn't a limiting of freedom, that is informing the consumer.

Or do you think that a manufacturer has a right to lie to consumers.

Maybe this is overlegislated, but it doesn't sound like an evil removal of freedom.

Or am I missing something?

Re:You know what sucks: (1)

um... Lucas (13147) | more than 14 years ago | (#1703457)

Gore's wife founded the PMRC... So of course he's going to back this effort as well... That news is only 15 years old, so don't act too suprised.

ppl (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1703460)

the stupid have power and the stupider(masses) vote for them countries can never be run properly because of the unimportance of a single view in a democracy the think is most people don't care about freedom cause it bears no relevence to their working lives and that is all that matters to most people

Money isn't the answer (2)

binarybits (11068) | more than 14 years ago | (#1703464)

The government keeps throwing more money at the public schools, and standards keep declining. What is needed to improve the schools is not more money, but more competition. Only when parents have a choice as to the schools their children attend (and the ability to take their tuition with them) will schools have the incentive to clean up their acts. Yes, more money would be nice, but schools already get far more money (adjusted for inflation) than they have in the past, and I don't see any improvement. Private schools typically get the same job done with half the funds, and the expensive private schools provide world-class education for about the same price as your average public school.

What? (1)

Plasmoid (8367) | more than 14 years ago | (#1703465)

You're kidding right? I though the point of warnings was to ...uh... warn people not stop them. I have no problem with
"This movie is rated M and may not be suitable for children under 14" or something to that effect. I most strongly oppose
"This movie has been rated M and may not be shown to children under 14 under threat of prosecution of harming Mercin youth!

You wonder why poeple don't trust the government anymore. It's like the old saying goes If a company treats its employees like idiot then all they will get will be idiot. The US government is treating us all like criminals and untrustworthy individuals, then soon all they will have is criminals and untrustworthy indivisduals.

Oh my, Americans! (0)

Joheines (34255) | more than 14 years ago | (#1703471)

I don't think I will ever understand you Americans. Everybody can own weapons because of some law passed 300 years ago (oh, and try to change that and you'll feel the power of millions of Americans and the NRA). But then, when your politicians suppress your free speech, it's all about what some conservative majority thinks is good for the others: 7 words that may not be mentioned on national TV, Internet censure in public libraries and schools, no naked women on TV and so on and on. And no one seems to care.
I spent 6 months in the US and let me tell you, that was enough for me!

Unbelievable -- write your representatives (1)

Gryphon (28880) | more than 14 years ago | (#1703475)

The problem with this bill, as I see it, is the vagueness.

The opponents were absolutely correct when they suggested this could stifile creative works -- it will.

Who is to say what is violent? When is violence OK? What about when it is justified in a movie to make a point? What about movies like American History X [] ? The violence in that movie was gruesome, but justified -- the movie illustrates the utter ugliness of racial hatred. Would this rating system deny a teenager the ability to view that movie? If it does (and sounds like it would) this bill is dangerous.

If you are an American, I'd suppose writing your representative to voice your opinion on the bill is the best route to go. If this was in Canada, I would be writing my MP.

1984 was just a few years to early...

It didn't sound that bad until... (2)

MrP- (45616) | more than 14 years ago | (#1703477)

I was reading it, and having a rating system didn't seem like a bad idea, but then came one part:

Like the Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act it would amend, the bill would also prohibit the sale of labeled products to minors.

okay, now this would totally suck, I hope this thing won't get passed or whatever, if so, we need to fight back!

$mrp=~s/mrp/elite god/g;

Re:Vote Libertarian (1)

Peyna (14792) | more than 14 years ago | (#1703480)

I think that we need to vote for non-partyism. Political parties have led to alot of problems in our government, such as lame duck sessions and so forth. All they do is create great divides among people, which leads to hatred among citizens, and people despising those of other "parties" Political parties are pointless IMHO. I see nothing wrong with maybe hanging out with people who share your views and so forth, but by creating parties like this, you are creating an incredibly exclusive group, because you exclude anybody who does fully agree with you. w/o political parties, people would be more likely to come forth with their own ideas and views rather than those of their parties. Abolish political parties!

Re:the worst (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1703491)

Sorry, the Ten Commandments are accepted by the vast majority of people on this earth (Christians, Jews, Muslims). Does it really offend you that much? What do you disagree with in there? What right do you have to not be offended? How is denying the school's right to post it not denying their freedom of religious expression? As for your statement about religion and genocide, why noy look at the present? The biggest mass murderers of all time were Atheists during the 20th century-- Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, etc.

Presidential Canidates (1)

crayz (1056) | more than 14 years ago | (#1703492)

I was sorta waiting for a story to bring this up in, and another poster reminded me.

We all(or most, some of you may not be old enough) get to vote in Nov. 2000 for Presidential and lots of other canidates. The hope would be that we don't have to re-elect someone who supports crap like this.

But when I look around at the presidential scene, I don't really see even 1 canidate from the major parties that I like. Anyone else have Democrat or Republican they like, or a canidate from another party?

The only ideas I've seen from what I get fed by the mainstream press that interest me at all are those of the reform party. Jesse Ventura has been on TV a bunch of times basically saying that the government should stay out of social issues. That is a big "+" in my book. Of course, the guy also sounds pretty unintelligent(maybe he's not good on TV).

Re:Oh my, Americans! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1703495)

Hear, hear!

Better free and shot in the head than alive and suffering (OH,NO!) labels warning that material is intended for adults. I suppose it would help if there were more adults in the States...

attacking it from the wrong side? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1703498)

I, for one, would like them to know something very interesting concerning violence and sex in the media.... (second hand info from my brother who's lived in japan for a while) It seems that in Japan, movies, computer games, tv shows are much much more violent and sexually explicit then here, yet the murder rate here is over 200 times that of Japan. Does anybody else understand that congress is attacking the problem from the wrong side?!? I can't believe that those morons on capitol hill think that me, a 16 yr old, will learn something new and oh so terribly bad from any sort of movie, tv show, or video game. I am, however, offended by the expanding popularity of shock shows like Fox's shows which are all title something like "When people die, on TV!". There's another source for the degregation (spelling?) of morals in america, the media only shows the effects of them.

Re:I don't see a problem ... (2)

binarybits (11068) | more than 14 years ago | (#1703502)

The issue is: why does the government have to do it, and force its rating on the rest of us?

There are lots of ways that the market already provides parents with information on the contents of music. Walmart, for example, only sells products that meet a certain standard. And manufacturers already put a "warning: explicit lyrics: label on CD's (although this might be government mandated. Movies have a standard rating system, as does TV.

Keep in mind also that once the government has an "official" rating system, the next step is to start regulating access to objectionable content. It never occurs to poiliticians that their ratings could be wrong or that adults should have access to "objectionable" materials. It is therefore a good idea to stop the first encroachment rather than waiting til they screw us over more before we react.

you mean (1)

MrP- (45616) | more than 14 years ago | (#1703505)

you can see naked woman on your tv?

::packs his bags::

$mrp=~s/mrp/elite god/g;

Re:Meep! First! Patch. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1703507)

I hope so; have you any evidence (other than the brain-death which set in years ago).


Think about this ... (2)

Hrunting (2191) | more than 14 years ago | (#1703510)

What freedoms are they taking away? Are they preventing the production of these products? No. Are they preventing the distribution of these products. No, not really. They're trying to prevent them from being sold to minors. Guess what, kiddies. Kids don't have the same rights as their adult comrades. You know why? They don't vote. I see this labeling idea as the same thing as alcohol restrictions. Alcohol is labeled. Minors can't buy alcohol, legally. Is anyone crying about the Constitutional right to drink alcohol at whatever age you want? No, because that's asinine. Let government do some regulation of products that may or may not be harmful to society.

Slashdot needs to get over the "Anytime the US Government passes a bill, it's taking away the freedoms of its citizens" kick that it's on. Unless you're a 16-year-old video game junkie, this isn't going to affect you in the least, and if you are a 16-year-old video game junkie, convince your parents to buy it for you. Or are you afraid that mommy and daddy won't approve of the games you play?

you *are* missing something... (1)

MrP- (45616) | more than 14 years ago | (#1703513)

...this law says that people must properly label their products so that parents, school, etc can make proper and informed decisions.

this law won't allow decisions, if you are under the age limit of the rating you will not be allowed to get that product.

$mrp=~s/mrp/elite god/g;

How do we define "undesirable content"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1703519)

Seriously. Think about this for a few seconds.

I see little difference between a so called "violent" movie and a regular animated adventure of Batman or whatnot when it comes down to it. Even a typical episode of Popeye can be quite violent. I can't think of how many episodes ended in a miserable Bluto/Brutus with several casts over broken limbs, bruises, and missing teeth.

How about video games? They always seem to raise a red flag around quake and whatnot, but think or more contemporary games like Super Mario Brothers. Burning things to death with fireballs? Squashing things in oblivion? Sure it may not be represented graphically, but the concepts are there nonetheless.

They should just put "Warning, contains yadda and blah blah" like they do on animes and leave it up to the parent.

All this has arisen from parents that leave their children alone to entertain themselves and then trying to find a cover up for not restricting content themselves.

This whole mess pretty much has stemmed from a bunch of lazy jerks and its ruining it for the rest of us. Lets end this silliness once and for all.

violence in american homes... (1)

patSPLAT (14441) | more than 14 years ago | (#1703521)

I would have a much easier time trusting these guy's intentions, but some of the most violent images piped into the media are the direct result of American policies abroad.

Remember the Gulf War, when American troops firebombed caravan of retreating Iraqis until they where all carbonized? Or perhaps Yugoslavia would be a better example for our children? Oh, then there's the cruise missle strike Clinton ordered on Sudan, remember that? Videogames aren't the only things which teach children to solve their problems with violence.

Maybe this law could have a dual purpose -- if you can't show violence through the media, then you can't show the truth about US Policy actions. A bit conspiracy theory, but entirely plausable.

Re:the worst (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1703526)

I disagree. Religion has not been the *cause* of most genocide and warfare. It *has*, however, been used as a tool to get people to go along with things they otherwise wouldn't, i.e. genocide/warfare/etc. There is a difference, IMO, between misusing people's religion as a pyschological tool, as opposed to the religion being the underlying reason for those who are using religion this way.

Vote for me! (1)

The Creator (4611) | more than 14 years ago | (#1703529)

I need your vote!

LINUX stands for: Linux Inux Nux Ux X

Re:Oh my, Americans! (1)

Joheines (34255) | more than 14 years ago | (#1703531)

Funny, we don't have any warning labels on our TV shows, but don't have a school shootings either. We sell alcohole to anyone over 16, but have less people dying from alcohol. We have (certain amounts) of nudity on TV, but our country has a lower percentage of perverts and rapists. Seems like other countries do just fine without all that "it's for the kids!" bullshit.

Lets get this straight right now. (2)

Accipiter (8228) | more than 14 years ago | (#1703534)

This bill isn't necessarily about freedoms, it's about violence in entertainment, and ratings. And in my opinion, the entire bill is horseshit.

Basically, the bill says that every type of entertainment media, be it a Video Game, a TV show, or a Movie, will have a rating. This rating will be universal thoughout all mediums. So for example, if a Movie gets rated R (Under 17 not admitted w/o parent), that could apply to a similarly rated TV show. Mortal Kombat, for instance, would have an R-type rating. (The rating would carry the same symbol throughout the entertainment industry.)

Like the Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act it would amend, the bill would also prohibit the sale of labeled products to minors.

This would surely backfire. Guess what? If a minor isn't allowed to buy it, they'll get it another way, opening the door to increased illegal crap. The article goes on to say "The Judiciary Committee report, in part, urges Congress to begin a national media campaign to educate parents and to create a national clearinghouse on children and entertainment violence. It also recommends that the various industries rate their products using a universal system." Parents don't need to be educated. The ones who know how to be parents know how to raise their children. The rest (I.E. That Mother who complained about Kenny on SouthPark) aren't going to listen to "Government Education", so that plan is useless.

The MPAA president summed it up quite well already. ...Valenti says that the senators' attempt to legislate and enforce a uniform labeling program across most of the entertainment spectrum won't work.

Why? You won't see full nudity on television, and it's rare in video games. So if a movie is rated R, and that rating would apply to a television show as well, would one expect to see the same type of content? Probably not. (Yeah, it's about violence not nudity. I was using an example. If you're that concerned, replace 'nudity' with 'gore'.)

-- Give him Head? Be a Beacon?

Re:Vote Libertarian (2)

binarybits (11068) | more than 14 years ago | (#1703537)

Trouble is, the political system is set up in a way that political parties are all but inevitable. Not only are ballot access laws skewed toward the major parties, but the "winner take all" nature of the electoral process encourages people to band around a handful of candidates to avoid splintering their votes, and thereby strengthening the two-party system.

Also, political parties serve as a kind of labeling system for candidates. No one has time to do a detailed study of the positions of each candidate, but if you know you agree with most of the Libertarian (or Democratic, Republican, Reform, Green, etc) Party, then you can safely vote for them because you can assume that they will represent your views.

That's the theory, anyway. It tends not to be true with the Republicrats, since they are often in it more for their own advantage rather than any kind of political principle. And the Reformers are mostly staying in the party because there are millions of dollars in federal money available to their presidential candidate, so everyone is trying to get that money.

Anyhow, I don't despise the members of other political parties, although I think their leaders are pretty despicable. And we're exclusive because we're fighting for a set of ideas, not simply as a sort of political club. We have an agenda for bettering the nation, and therefore we want to ensure that people who join us share our goals.

Re:So get out and vote. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1703538)

Half the problem is the powerful seeking to create more power (and with it, wealth) for themselves. This is understood, and widely accepted. The other half, however, is the whiny people like the one who posted this story, who sit around and expect someone to come rescue the big, bad system. That the system can be abused, and is abused, is clear, but this only happens because the vast majority sit back in the consumer content and -let- it happen. Instead of whining, got to the library (if you still remember how to read books), and get yourself some Chomsky, Zinn, etc.

Re:Oh my, Americans! (1)

Joheines (34255) | more than 14 years ago | (#1703542)

I *really, honestly* don't see why this is flamebait. You mean, criticizing Americans is bad by itself? Then, excuse me for disturbing.

More & Better Labeling! (5)

Evan Vetere (9154) | more than 14 years ago | (#1703544)

As a teenager, I want better labeling of content so I can tell at a glance while scanning DirecTV's film listings which shows contain nudity, which contain wanton violence, and which are just pansy-ass dramas. With proper and thorough labeling, I can zero in on the shows that have the naughty bits, and not waste my time on other, less entertaining programming.

Bring on the new system!

Re:It didn't sound that bad until... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1703550)

Yeah, imagine a world where kids couldn't buy things labeled 'May contain scenes of necrophillia'. Might as well jump off the bridge now.


This is news for nerds? (1)

Nemesys (6004) | more than 14 years ago | (#1703551)

Just because a lot of nerds may well have
vaguely anti-authoritarian views, it doens't
mean /. has to devolve into a political organ
for such views. Stop submitting this crap;
we can read it on CNN (those of us who even
bother following American "politics")

Re:you *are* missing something... (1)

kevlar (13509) | more than 14 years ago | (#1703556)

If you haven't noticed, that already happens. NC17, etc.

What's wrong with a rating system? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1703558)

What's the problem? While I don't believe that there is a direct correlation between violent media content and actual violence, I do believe that a rating system of some kind is necessary. Consider today's MPAA rating system. If a person under the age of 17 wishes to see an R-rated film, he is barred from viewing it unless accompanied by a parent. This places the responsibility of media choices in the hands of the parent, not the entertainment industry as a whole. The same can be extended to video games, music, etc. The laws won't even affect people of consenting age! It's a sticker! Peel it off if you don't like it! The problem in america these days is that children are being raised not by their parents, but by tohse responsible for creating entertainment. Generation Y (for lack of a better name) is showing signs of being ruled by the media. As a business owner, I've discovered that young people cannot be told what to do anymore. They need to be _shown_, step by step, exactly what to do. I don't even bother telling my employees what to do anymore... they don't listen. Training videos are the only thing that works. It's not just at my restaurant, either. At my _real_ job, the interns can't be told what to do. I can't jus say, "Hey, go learn how to set up an LDAP server, then do it." I have to _show_ them every damn step. No initiative, no creative thinking, and no respect. I tell you... these kids today. So anyway, returning from my tangent. The responsibility of raising children needs to be returned to the parents, and this rating system seems to be a step towards doing it.

american majority is amazingly uptight! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1703561)

I think that this majority of americans that are upsetting you people oh so much must have a stick up the stick up their ass (anyone see that episode of The Simpsons? hehe). In the US they've restricted practically everything. I agree VERY STRONGLY with what JonKatz said in one of those articles in response to Columbine. (The part about the USA being the laughingstock of the WORLD when it comes to this sort of thing). I mean, GOD FORBID there should be a nipple in a shampoo comercial! As if I didn't know they existed! (hmmm). (oh yeah, sarcasm intended, btw....)

What if I don't want to label my artwork? (2)

C R Johnson (141) | more than 14 years ago | (#1703564)

What if I choose not to play along? Then they take the gun, put it at my back, and march me off to camp?

What is wrong with this is that it substitutes brute force for thinking.

If you as a (theoretical) parent want to judge if a piece of art is appropriate for your children, you should THINK FOR YOURSELF and choose wisely. Yes, you and your children will bear the consequences if you choose poorly, but that is justice.

Okay... (2)

Amphigory (2375) | more than 14 years ago | (#1703566)

First, I don't think that this violates the first amendment. It seems to me that this is no more sinister than asking that a box containing poison be labeled with a Skull and Crossbones. If you choose to eat the poison, that's fine, it's your privilege. But I think it's absurd to talk about the labeling requirement violating freedom of speech.

To reiterate the analogy, I regard much of what comes out of our media outlets as moral poison. It teaches is to regard ourselves and our fellow women and men as no better than objects -- the plots degrade men and women with casuol sex and casual murder.

On the flip side, is there any point to this kind of law? I doubt it. Bluntly, I vote with my dollar. If a media network refuses to show some reasonable restraint in what they show, I REMOVE THAT NETWORK FROM MY HOME.

So, my cable service does not include networks such as Comedy Central, or even the Cartoon Network (do you really want kids to learn behaviour from cow & chicken or southpark?)

I realize that, by doing this I am sacrificing my "freedom" to watch these materials. SO WHAT?!?! I regard this whole "adult material" standard as ludicrous. If something is not healthy for my child to watch, then how on earth is it worth my time? I have better things to do (like read kernel source).

Unfortunately, this approach doesn't work for the net. Instead of 70 or 80 channels, I have millions of websites. None of the filter companies can keep up. So, I have to watch my son every second on the net. Why can't offensive web sites show some responsibility? Why will they not actively label themselves as to their content? I would settle for a standard <porn> tag. That's all I ask!

In a world where my son can legitimately find pornography while looking for the president's home page ( [] ) -- that is, where pornography is deliberately disguised as legitimate information and resists all attempts to get them to label themselves -- how can I (even as a freedom lover) argue AGAINST mandatory labeling?

Are you an ISP? Exercise some diligence on the sites on your servers before the government has to!

but.... (1)

MrP- (45616) | more than 14 years ago | (#1703568)

*this* law affects minors the most, who wont be able to buy games/music/etc.. if it is to violent, so the people who are probably against it the most are minors, and well, MINORS CAN'T VOTE!

$mrp=~s/mrp/elite god/g;

But America is not a democracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1703570)

Democracy is a government run directly by the people. A republic is a government run by elected officials. Go look it up in the dictionary.

Re:So get out and vote. (1)

Manuka (4415) | more than 14 years ago | (#1703573)

Educating people - paying attention to schools and dumping way more money into them than we do now - is the correct and only solution. Education is definitely the answer, but not necessarily by throwing more money at at. There's a reason the democrats keep shooting down education plans that would actually work... If the voting public were more educated, a lot of the democratic vote would evaporate in favor of groups and parties who actually support personal freedoms. Anyone in government who professes to support "less government" is lying through their teeth.

Re:I don't see a problem ... (2)

Fizgig (16368) | more than 14 years ago | (#1703580)

why does the government have to do it

Because that leaves three other possibilities:

1. Community regulation - in this case, a group of people would create their own rating system for information. This is arguably the best solution, unless it conglomerates into one big community, in which case you have the same population that elected the government reviewing things, only they're not bound by the Constitution (tyranny of the majority). But this would presumably not happen.

2. Independent entity regulation - these are the services that filter content for a fee. It makes sense, except that they are more susceptible to outside monetary influence than other solutions (for instance, I could imagine if things were done like this with the MPAA, the studio that put out American Pie might have offered bribes to whoever makes the decisions). This is not to say that there isn't bribary in government (ha!) but at least that's quite clearly illegal and more heavily investigated.

3. Self-regulation - AOL (just when I was starting to like them) and some others recently proposed a self-regulation system of the Internet. But one has only to look at the current set of voluntary TV ratings to see that this is a really lame solution.

None of these solutions is perfect. Arguably the best solution is the first, but then why hasn't it happened on a large scale yet? There is certainly a positive side of having a ratings system; the only concern is that it is not abused. Considering that the population at large has not adequately taken this issue up on their own and considering that I most definitely do not want for-profits deciding the ratings, that leaves the government. It certainly has its own problems (or more importantly potential problems), but at least there's the Constitution to slow them down.

Re:the worst (1)

sterno (16320) | more than 14 years ago | (#1703582)

Religious people have killed many in the name of religion. Non-religious people have killed many for numerous other reasons. So can we drop that one? :)

As for the Ten Commandments, the Ten Commandments are descended from Jewish religion, which is the root of Christianity and Islam. But because it represents these religions and thus a majority of people, it does not make it reasonable to post it in a public school.

The whole notion of seperation of church and state is to protect smaller religions from persecution by bigger ones. If the public schools (which are an extension of the state), support one particular religious view, then this seperation is lost. Basically, it is saying that the Ten Commandments are considered the beliefs of the State, and are considered superior to other religions as they are willing to post them in public.

What if I'm buddhist, or hindu? What if I'm Wiccan? Does my lack of belief in the ten commandments make me a lesser person? Why aren't my fundamental rules of morality posted in the high school halls? Don't I have just as much right under our constitutionally protected speech rights to publicly post my version of the truth if the ten commandments can be posted?


violence != sex (1)

Swordfish (86310) | more than 14 years ago | (#1703584)

As sure as night follows day, 80% of the way
into the article, the discussion of excessive
violence has to just append sex to violence:
"drawing a line governing violent, sexual and degrading material".
There seems to be some special neuron in the
US mind which equates harmful activity with
pleasurable, beneficial activity. Similarly,
the V-chip was generalised to cover sex.
There is a difference, in many parts of the world.

How is this an attack on Freedom? (1)

kmillar (31200) | more than 14 years ago | (#1703585)

So in brief, this bill would require movies, games etc to be labelled as to their content. That's not a problem - food is also labeled for content. Minors would not be allowed to buy ones with certain ratings - allowing parents to control what their children are doing. That's definitely a good thing, and doesn't stop the rest of us any. No real loss of freedom there.

On the other hand, I find it hard pressed to believe that violent TV, movies and games are the cause of violence. Most other modern countries have just as much violent media, but very little actual violence. Taking away people's access to powerful weapons would have much more effect, but some people just don't seem to like the idea, and the government seems to listen to whoever is loudest or gives the most of money. So much for democracy.

The second amendment (2)

binarybits (11068) | more than 14 years ago | (#1703587)

The second amendment is not treated more highly than the first. In fact, the First Amendment is the only amendment that most journalists and politicians really pay any attention to. The Second Amendment has been emasculated to the point where it is now all but meaningless. Leftists have reinterpreted it to mean basically that the National Guard needs weapons, and they say it has nothing to do with private citizens having guns. I wouldn't be too suprised if we started seeing more gun bans in the next few years. The NRA keeps giving in, and pretty soon guns will be outlawed.

It's scary.

Labled or unlabled.. (1)

eriks (31863) | more than 14 years ago | (#1703588)

Whether or not people want to admit it, depictions of glorified violence in various forms of media _IS_ a problem. Maybe not a problem for 99% of us: (It's not a problem for me personally, since I simply refuse to watch fictitious violence) but the scores of incidents of 'copycat' murders, and a very apparent lack of ethics in at least a minority of the population, something has to be done, on a societal level to raise the conciousness of the admittedly small percent of the population that is sick enough to actually do something that they see depicted in a violent media content..

I don't see this proposed legislation as a violation of freedoms, and while it is likely that it is just part of a politicical agenda for various upcoming re-election campaigns, because it's a hot topic, I don't see that it hurts anyone or anything. If you sell something that's potentially biologically poisonous, there has to be a label on it saying so. If something is potentially psychologically poisionous, why shouldn't the same thing apply?

Albeit somewhat offtopic, I'd also like to raise the point of WHY people 'like' to watch fabricated violent material. If you need to explore such ideas for whatever reason, try watching CourtTV, Unsolved Mysteries, or other investigative reporting shows that deal with the REAL issues of murder and violence in socity. I don't see fake blood and gore as 'entertainment' at all. So I ask slashdot readers:

What is the appeal of "sick fiction?" I don't (and probably won't) understand it.

This may sound like flamebait, but these are my honest feelings and opinions.

Re:This is news for nerds? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1703590)

shut the fuck up and get the hell out of here. if you don't like the fucking article don't read it. i'm sick of you assholes always saying "This is news for nerds?" who made you the god that decides what is good content for slashdot. go to hell and get a life. or better yet, start your own website and put good articles on it. Fuck you. HomerJ

Important difference... (2)

binarybits (11068) | more than 14 years ago | (#1703592)

Only the government can make their ratings carry the force of law, and only the government is completely immune to market pressures. If an independent rating system started taking bribes, people would find out, they'd get pissed, and they'd switch to a different service. If the government starts taking bribes, there might be an investigation, but if they are clever about it, nothing is likely to come of it. The kicker, though, is that you are forced to pay for their ratings (and likely they will enact laws around those ratings) whether you like it or not. No private organization can force you to use its services. That's why private organizations don't need constitutions. If they mistreat you, you can go elsewhere.

Re:Think about this ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1703595)

I belive that slashdot is doing a very good job at reporting these stories. Whats wrong if slashdot is reporting the passing of these kind of bills "Anytime the US Government passes a bill, it's taking away the freedoms of its citizens" if that is the truth of what the federal goverment is doing.

How to verify? Please *NOT* AVS. (1)

jflynn (61543) | more than 14 years ago | (#1703596)

Yes, exactly, if organizations want to publish their opinion on the suitability of content for minors I don't have a big problem with that.

But to enforce such opinions as law leads to buckets of worms. Especially on the internet.

How do we verify age? If I start seeing credit card AVS's going up at news and gaming sites I'm going to be just a little mad. I don't have a credit card -- never have, never will. What's more -- it won't work -- it will just encourage kids to steal credit card numbers or borrow their parents. If you think that credit cards won't be the method used, how do you explain CDA II? This also means that usage of "suspect" sites will be logged by the credit card companies, something I'd prefer not to see.

It is *ridiculous* to promote enforcing age restrictions on the internet until a practical method of age verification is worked out.

Re:you *are* missing something... (1)

MrP- (45616) | more than 14 years ago | (#1703599)

and did they sey they were labeling NC17? no, the stuff minors can buy now, they cannot later, thats the thing

$mrp=~s/mrp/elite god/g;

America, america... (1)

elvum (9344) | more than 14 years ago | (#1703600)

How about a separate slashdot section for America-only stories like this one*? Far be it for me to deny the citizens of a country a forum in which to moan about their democracy (or impending lack of it), and I realise that /. coverage of other-national stories like the current farce taking place in Australia regarding net-nannying is pretty good, but surely this kind of story is much more for national than international consumption.

*with, of course the few exceptions posting below to contradict me ( :-) ), this story is only really of interest to Americans...

Re:The second amendment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1703601)

If the trend continues with the federal goverment taking away our rights one at a time so they hope we dont notice until its too late who is going to stop them from outlawing guns. I sure hope some orgnazation will for the good of america.

Re:And another thing... (1)

banky (9941) | more than 14 years ago | (#1703602)

You are right; both films are both excellent and everything that happens in them, even when so extreme, is in no way gratuitous. Saving Private Ryan shows something my grandfather and some of my fathers friends told me a hundred times: just what happens to a human body when impacted by fast-moving metal. It breaks, it bleeds, and it comes apart. Likewise with Schindler's List, though I have no personal experience with the Holocaust or its survivors (though I have read some accounts). Its there to entertain and at the same time, not cut any corners.

On the same token, though, you could take American Pie as an example of a well-done "sex comedy". I never thought it was gratuitous, that they were just showing things for the sake of getting some beav on screen to get more ticket sales. It was a funny movie, dammit! And in a certain light *realistic*. So many high-school movies have people just LEAPING into bed with no problem; high-school kids perform like porn stars. I liked the fact that everyone was far from perfect in terms of sexual prowess. Yet this movie was attacked. Sure, its not a cinematic masterpiece like SPR and SL but its a well-written, well executed movie. But it talks about sex and therefore is evil.

The last free act of a democracy is to vote in a dictatorship. Here we go, cast your votes!

Re:Oh my, Americans! (1)

nfgaida (68606) | more than 14 years ago | (#1703603)

i think it's might soon be time for me to move to a more open minded country. before the US prevents it!

Re:Presidential Canidates (1)

sterno (16320) | more than 14 years ago | (#1703604)

Actually, I'm really hoping that Warren Beatty runs. He has been talking about it, and I think it would really make things interesting. From what I've seen so far, he seems far better qualified than any of the candidates put before us so far.

Now, I would never elect somebody from hollywood with name recognition if he didn't have a good political platform. But my impression is that he's got a lot of things figured out that the others don't. Have you ever seen the movie Bullworth? It is noteworthy that he wrote and directed it. This implies, that to some extent, the political statements made there are probably on par with his beliefs.

When interviewed on the possibility of running for office, he said that he didn't think he was the best candidate for the job, but that he was better than a lot of the other choices available. It's nice to see a candidate who thinks somebody else could do the job better!


Bill is actually half right (1)

Have Blue (616) | more than 14 years ago | (#1703605)

There is nothing wrong with requiring labels on products. Such regulations already exist in nearly every other industry. Such labels would put the decision back int he hands of parents where it belongs: If your kid wants to buy something, check the label (or better yet see/play it yourself) and then make the call.

The danger of course is the second half: Government enforcement of such labels. This is just plain evil. If someone thinks his child is old enough to watch A Clockwork Orange then its their right to be able to show it to their children.

I wonder how many problems we could solve by reducing the required voting age to 0?

Re:Think about this ... (1)

Roundeye (16278) | more than 14 years ago | (#1703606)

That's a very enlightened viewpoint you have there.

This legislation affects not only video games but television, visual arts (drawing, painting, sculpture), performance arts, literature (i.e, books, magazines, pamphlets), and certainly others I am forgetting.

Not only is labelling being made mandatory, but if you mislabel you are fined, as I read it. But... there are no clear guidelines on how to label (what is "violent" and how violent is a given rating?). So it's at the whim of review boards or the courts to decide if you screwed up and have to pay.

Guess what, that "chills" expression -- it makes the author less willing to publish due to fear of repercussions. This might also be viewed as "prior restraint". Go look that one up.

Yes, minors have, in reality, a different set of rights than adults. But, purchasing a Batman comic book is in no way like buying a fifth of Jack Daniels. And, if the legislation causes producers of content that I use to reconsider what they publish because of labelling (and its effects on sales if nothing else) then it DIRECTLY affects me.

Government's job, btw, is not to determine for me what may or may not be harmful to me. I'm sorry you live in a one-party psychological hell, but I don't buy your dogma.

Your implication that they can take away the rights of people, so long as they don't take away yours, is what's going to ensure that your back is the first to the wall when the revolution comes, shithead.

Do facts have any place in Government? (1)

Pendulum (50917) | more than 14 years ago | (#1703607)

Forgive me, but was I out for a while? When was it definitively established that violence in the media causes violence in real life?
Last time I checked, the youth violence rate was Still at it's lowest point since the Depression. As far as I know, no scientific study has Ever been done which proved (or even hinted) that we can blame a person's behavior on the games they play or the media they consume. Humans have been violent creatures for a very long time.
I mean, this scrawny little guy ordered the extermination of 6 million Jewish people, and he never saw South Park. Vlad the Impaler, well, impaled people (and lots of other stuff) without having the benefit of t.v. or video games, or even Stanley Kubrick to blame. And both of their armies went merrily along with the things they did. For a while, anyway.
These are extreme examples, I admit. But history would bear me out should I choose to argue that humans are violent creatures; even humans who've been raised in good, suburban homes, with a minivan and an inground pool, and loving parents.
Unfortunately, politicians like very simple answers; makes for a better sound clip.
The old solutions they toss up still don't work. But don't hold your breath waiting for them to learn that lesson.

Re:Think about this ... (1)

nfgaida (68606) | more than 14 years ago | (#1703608)

I don't think the govn't should regulate anything.

They are so fucked up themselves, how can they judge what is right and wrong for the rest of us?

Re:the worst (1)

Wolfkin (17910) | more than 14 years ago | (#1703609)

What do you disagree with in there?
[the ten commandments]

Uh...the first one? "Thou shalt have no other gods before Me"? (After Him is fine, though, this confirmation that those other gods exist? ;)

Re:How do we define "undesirable content"? (1)

8ballcane (65010) | more than 14 years ago | (#1703610)

This is why it will be fated to the same grave as the CDA. The Supreme Court seems to have a problem with bills that are vague in their intent. Or at least I hope.

Re:Presidential Canidates (2)

ewhac (5844) | more than 14 years ago | (#1703611)

Have a look at this [] . Try not to laugh too hard.


Jesse would make a lousy President (2)

binarybits (11068) | more than 14 years ago | (#1703612)

Of course, the guy also sounds pretty unintelligent(maybe he's not good on TV).

Nope, he's a moron. As a Minnesota resident, I can tell you that you do *not* want Jesse as president. He's a fraud, a disgrace, and an idiot. Allow me to elaborate.

Fraud Jesse ran on a mildly libertarian platform of less government spending, lower taxes, and generally liberal on social issues. He was pro-concealed carry, said he might consider legalizing pot and prostitution, and was generally an ok guy.

After he got elected, he surrounded himself with moderate Democrats, and did a policy about-face. Now he thinks tax cuts are "irresponsible," he wants to spend more money on light rail and education. He's against school choice. We haven't heard a word about vouchers, pot, or prostitution, and he's generally taken the Democratic side on every issue. We might have voted for the Democratic choice for governor.

If you're a Democrat, that may sound good to you, but the point is that the man broke many of his campaign promises and has no compunctions about lying if he thinks it's necessary. And he hasn't done much of anything towards repealing restrictions on social issues. I wish he would, as that's what he campaigned on. In short, he's a fraud.

Disgrace Jesse seems to delight in shocking people. He published a book which features his sex life and drug use. He refereed at a WWF event. At one point he started yelling at a welfare mother during a press conference. He seems to be more interested in the publicity than anything else. I don't think he ever expected to win, so now that he's won, he probably figures he can milk the system for all he can get.

idiot I really don't think he has any sort of political philosophy. He got into politics to bolster his faltering carreer as a talk show host, and he seems to form his political opinions on the spur of the moment. His campaign adds featured action figures showing him "fighting special interests." (which, by the way, he's been courting as badly as any major-party politician) In short, he's got nothing to offer but a simple freak show. His policies are those of a mundane centrist Democrat.

In summary, please don't vote for him if he runs for President. I'm embarrassed enough that he's our governor. I don't want to put up with his crap for another 4 years.

If you want a real alternative, check out the Libertarian Party []

Re:So get out and vote. (1)

Dave Walker (9461) | more than 14 years ago | (#1703613)

Voting is one way to make your voice heard.

But why speak up only ONCE a year?

Do you know your Congressmans' email address? Is it in your address book? Do you communicate your stance on issues to him/her?

If you don't know it, you can find it at

When is the last time Congress got 'slashdotted'? Oh, they haven't been...

Why not?

Re:Okay... (1)

Marauder2 (82448) | more than 14 years ago | (#1703614)

here here!

Movies are already labled according to content, I look at the Guide on my DSS (Picking a random movie... Con-Air (R) (AC - Adult Content, AL - Adult Language, GV - Graphic Volence) or a game; Tiberian Sun - Teen (Mild Language, Realistic Blood, Realistic Volence). This is all done volountaraly by the movie channels and Game companies!

Why can't we do this on the net, all it would do is let people know what it on a specific site. I would be all for tags like , , , etc. tags. that way a parent can set the browser to reject pages with say tags and would prevent childern from viewing objectionable sites. That does not impose on anyone's rights only helps enhance mine if I wish to stay away (or keep children away) from objectionable sites.

Re:But America is not a democracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1703615)

Everyone that reads this post just think what problems would be solved if we had some sort of goverment that worked somewhat like ours today but to pass a new bill after it goes through congress and the president it has to win a majority vote by the american people. hmmm maybe that would change poltics a little. The Leibermans, Gores and others could not just pass anything they see fit to govern us. Most new laws that are passed would be in the american peoples best intrest because the american people would have had a major role in passing it.

Re:I don't see a problem ... (3)

Analog (564) | more than 14 years ago | (#1703616)

You forgot the only alternative that will actually work. That is, for parents to keep track of what their kids are watching/doing, and (what most people seem to miss) communicate with them about it.

I frequently hear the excuse that "I don't have time to check everything my kids see". If that's true, it's a good sign that your kids are watching too much tv, spending too much time with video games, etc. Like it or not, being a parent carries with it a huge amount of responsibility - if you don't want it, don't have kids!

I for one am getting pretty damn tired of the government telling me they know better than I do what my children can and can't see, and even more tired of people saying "that's ok" because it lets them shrug off the responsibilities they took on when they became parents.

Re:the worst (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1703617)

"right wing republican congress". This somehow suggests that it's only the republicans who are screwing the nation over. Republicans want Big Business to fuck you up the ass, Democrats want Big Government to fuck you up the ass. Taking either group seriously is what's screwing up this country. They should be laughed back into the asylum they escaped from. No matter what anyone tells you, the gov giving a farmer money for what he DOESN'T grow is insane, as is mandatory education, victim disarmament(do you think 'criminals' participate in gun registration or confiscation?), etc, etc, etc.

Re:Vote Libertarian (2)

binarybits (11068) | more than 14 years ago | (#1703618)

So the Libertarian party supports my right to join (or form) a labour union?

Absolutely. Who says we didn't? As long as workers are free *not* to join that union, and as long as the government doesn't give labor or management any special rights, we wholeheartedly support your right to form any type of organization you like, including a labor union.

What censorship? I support it. (1)

RISCy Business (27981) | more than 14 years ago | (#1703619)

For those who know me, they know that I tolerate absolutely no censorship of any sort. And I support this bill that congress is trying to pass. I support it unequivocally.

Why? Because it's not enforced censorship. Nor is it a way to control the media. It's a way to let the media regulate itself and enable parents to effectively control what their kids listen to. If anything, it gives more power to the people, forgive the corny phrase, rather than takes freedom away. It doesn't say 'if you get this and this rating, you can't sell it here there and there.' It says 'you have to label your product with it's rating in a clear manner.'

I supported the original thing like this; the parental advisory stickers. Whether or not the kids listen to the stuff is the parents deicision then; not the government's, not the stores, not the media's.

I truly hope this bill passes; the US is long overdue for something like this. Now if only we could get some genuine truth in advertizing and truth from the news media. *sigh*

-RISCy Business | Rabid System Administrator and BOFH

Re:the worst (1)

wabewalker (42099) | more than 14 years ago | (#1703620)

The USA is apparently one of the most religious western societies; some 44 % of the population go to church every week. The USA, taken as a whole, is also violent, compared with Western Europe, for example. Sweden, on the other hand, is one of the least religious; some 4 % go to church every week. Sweden is also one of the least violent societies.

Of course this proves *nothing*, I am not saying that religious societes are inherently violent; nor that it is the religious people who are violent. But it indicates that "your" congressman is wrong when he thinks posting the ten commandments in schools could have prevented the Columbine shootings.

Someone should analyse the problem properly; scientists, not politicians.

Re:The second amendment (1)

mdvkng (59799) | more than 14 years ago | (#1703621)

Hunting weapons are fine. I doubt they'll be banned. Deer aren't endangered, on the contrary...

Why do private citizens need handguns? If less of you did, less people would get shot.

And I'm no leftist, I'm a licensed hunter. I just don't own a handgun. I don't see the point.


Euro-trash (1)

Mai Longdong (63346) | more than 14 years ago | (#1703622)

Gee, my father fought in Europe in WWII, I spent 2 years in Europe "defending" Europeans from themselves and now my daughter (in the 82d Airborne) is in Kosovo doing the same. You worthless fucks just never learn, do you? America's problem is that too many of our worthless politicians are Euro-trash wannabees......Bill Clinton comes to mind.

Tell you what, next time, please spend your vacation someplace like Ibiza where you can screw yourselves silly and smoke yourself unconscious.

"true Xians" (3)

MenTaLguY (5483) | more than 14 years ago | (#1703623)

Stalin was a priest. You forgot Hitler -- Hitler and the Nazis followed an Aryan-Christian-Mythology; not atheists. Of course, people like you will say "they weren't true Christians" or some shit like that

I dunno, that might make sense, considering that faithful Christians were among the people they explicitly targeted for extermination, as they wouldn't cooperate with the regime.

As for the crusades, yes, those were just an unmitigated mess. Those and the Inquisition are very good examples of why Theocracy is bad -- not just from a political standpoint, but also from a religious standpoint. It corrupts both the state and the religion.

We can argue about whether or not the people involved were "true christians" without any sort of satisfactory resolution, but if you can call them Christians, they certainly were ignoring some rather important moral principles of their faith.

Berlin-- []

Re:the worst (1)

Andra (80907) | more than 14 years ago | (#1703629)

I don't know what I keep responding to such stupid posts, but oh well, here it goes ...

Sorry, the Ten Commandments are accepted by the vast majority of people on this earth (Christians, Jews, Muslims).

Whoah there, junior ...! vast majority? Let's see "this" earth has about 6 billion people. A simple majority would be a bit more than 3 billion ... I don't know what *you* consider a "vast majority", but with over 1 billion people in China (most not C/J/M), almost 1 billion in India (most not C/J/M), numerous Buddhists in the rest of Asia (and elsewhere), followers of other religions (tribes in S.America and Africa, Wiccans, Scientologists) and followers of no specific religion (or none at all, period), I think you fall short of your "vast majority". Even if people of other religions might agree with some of the ideas in the Ten Commandments, they might not agree with the T.C. themselves, which are specific to a Judeo-Christian worldview.

Does it really offend you that much?

Yes. Having people tell me that some fictional deity tells me what I can and can't do is quite insulting.

What do you disagree with in there?

They are 'commandments' -- that is, I am supposed to accept their so-called morality without thinking about 'why'. It's just so -- 'god' says so. Ooh, what a great system of morality and ethics. "The Fuehrer says we should hate and kill Jews. Let's not think about it, let's do it." "The Pope says we should burn heretics, so let's do it." No thanks.

How is denying the school's right to post it not denying their freedom of religious expression?

The school has no freedome of religious expression. 1) Public schools are not religious institutions. 2) Only people at a school have rights (which people tend to forget, when they start taking away the rights of students to their privacy and right to free speech ... I consider that more important that trying to create a Christian army of right-thinking zombies), and their rights to wear crosses, talk with their friends about religion, and put the Ten Commandments on their binders, etc. is not being attacked. The (*public*) school's ability to force Christianity on people is, though.

As for your statement about religion and genocide, why noy look at the present? The biggest mass murderers of all time were Atheists during the 20th century-- Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, etc.

Stalin was a priest. You forgot Hitler -- Hitler and the Nazis followed an Aryan-Christian-Mythology; not atheists. Of course, people like you will say "they weren't true Christians" or some shit like that (just like, I'm sure, the leaders of the Crusades, the Teutonic Knights, and the leaders of the Inquisition weren't 'true Christians' either -- or maybe the heretics, heathens and infidels should have been all killed ...) Hence -- your argument "atheism is bad because some atheists have committed atrocities, and therefore let's all be good x-tians... religion is good" is just stupid -- unless you also accept "religion is bad because some religious people (read the Old Testament, and the above-mentioned examples) have committed atrocities, and therefore let's all be good atheists..."

In conclusion: you simply missed the point. Public institutions should not be favoring a single religion (or group thereof); as public institutions they should be open for all members of society. If people want the T.C. -- send your kids to religious schools where they can learn about Creationism (um, I mean "Creation Science")



Re:Bill is actually half right (1)

elvum (9344) | more than 14 years ago | (#1703630)

Bollocks. Let's pretend Mr Foo is a well adjusted person and accurately judges that Foo jr. is old enough to watch violent films without pissing his pants / becoming a psychopath. That doesn't mean that Mr Bar, a man with a dodgy background suffering from anxiety about his own social inadequacy should be allowed to scare his children to death / turn them into serial killers by giving them violent / scary films to keep them quiet.

It may seem harsh, it may be an infringement of Mr Foo's rights, it may even be an infringement of Mr Bar's rights, but the state has to make an inadequate decision and set a meaningless number and say that once children's age has passed that number they can do this / that.

Re:Presidential Candidates (1)

Wolfkin (17910) | more than 14 years ago | (#1703631)

If you're looking for someone who's more ... straightforward than any of the usuals, try L. Neil Smith for Prez [] . His whole platform is Bill of Rights Enforcement.

John Locke (1)

/ (33804) | more than 14 years ago | (#1703632)

"Political power ... I take to be the right of making laws with the penalty of death." -- John Locke, Second Treatise of Government

Re:the worst (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1703633)

Freedom of speech is only good as long as it doesn't aflict others rights. If I posted horable lies about you on the net because I didn't like you, then that would step on your rights to enjoy life. For my freedom I have to show some responsability. Hitler took his freedom of speech and did more damage than just hate. As a student you at least ow it to yourself to look at the other side of things before drawing a conclusion.

Schools force owr kids to learn Evolution as a fact. If you look into it, you'll find that there is no posable way that it works on any time schedule. So it is a belief, not a fact. Which makes it a religion. So I guess Christians dont have the fredom to pray in school? I bet you didn't say anything when they took that freedom away.

Secondly the religion in the middle ages was just that...Religion. Religion is 'man trying to reach or attain God. But Christianity is 'God trying to reach man.' You know the commandment about 'thow shalt not kill(murder)?' Murdering and persecuting of others was common in the middle ages. Guess they didn't like the 10 commandments eather. Ow yeah, it's a commandment by the way. Along with not stealing and other responsabilities. Fredom of speech is like a licence. Don't use it to run over people...Well at least most the time. 8)

FAQ on Voting and Elections (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1703634)

Re:America, america... (1)

vectro (54263) | more than 14 years ago | (#1703636)

Seems to me that this was, in fact, in the united states category. Isn't this sufficient for what you are looking for?

Re:Think about this ... (4)

Fastolfe (1470) | more than 14 years ago | (#1703639)

Wow, I really thought your post was rather rational and clearly written, right up until that last word.

The day that the slashdot kiddies figure out that they can make a valid point without resorting to name-calling will be a pleasant day indeed.

Re:What censorship? I support it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1703640)

"Nor is it a way to control the media. It's a way to let the media regulate itself..."
Wait a minute. Passing a law is "letting the media regulate itself"? Since when does the media need the Federal government to "let" it regulate itself?
"It doesn't say 'if you get this and this rating, you can't sell it here there and there.' It says 'you have to label your product with it's rating in a clear manner.'"
It says "you must get a rating, and you must do it through us". Please tell us what part of the Constitution authorizes Congress to set up a national ratings board, or what makes the labelling and sale of media Congress' business at all.

Re:America, america... (1)

HeghmoH (13204) | more than 14 years ago | (#1703648)

Ummm.... Go look at the story. See that neat little striped flag next to it? That's the US flag. If you log in (which I see you do), you can set up your account to filter them. Bingo, you no longer see such things.

They can't.. (2)

Fastolfe (1470) | more than 14 years ago | (#1703649)

IMO, they can't, really. Court decisions have tended to uphold the principle that "obscene" and "violent" are words that can only be defined at a community/local level, and never nationally. FCC rules are intentionally vague in this respect, giving local communities the ability to decide what is appropriate on their airwaves (well, to a certain point).

I personally don't have a problem with a mandatory rating system, but I don't really see how it can work unless you give the communities the ability to set the standards, and that's just impossible to do for widely distributed stuff like this.

Re:Vote Libertarian (1)

YellowBook (58311) | more than 14 years ago | (#1703650)

So the Libertarian party supports my right to join (or form) a labour union?

Thought not. We all know whose freedoms the Libertarian party supports, and it's not ours.

The scalloped tatters of the King in Yellow must cover
Yhtill forever. (R. W. Chambers, the King in Yellow)

Politicians not the only ones (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1703651)

I'm posting this anonymously for reasons that should become apparent. Politicians are not the only ones who are eroding freedoms. I'm currently suspended from work, during an "impartial" investigation of alleged malpractices. The allegations were made by a supervisor who was known by those working for them for abusive behaviour, and made immediately after a failed attempt by me to notify senior staff of the situation. The "evidence" backing these allegations - provided by that same supervisor.

Did I do anything? Depends on what you mean. Did I do anything wrong? No! Did I do anything that threatened the job of this supervisor? Lots. I was better at coding and documenting. I was aware of, and not tolerent of, their abusive behaviour.

For the crime of trying to speak up, I am likely to, at best, lose my job. The worst depends on what sort of "evidence" was handed over.

So, can I blame politicians for corruption, when I have seen intrigues and back-stabbing at the work level? Politicians are only human, like the rest of us. And if "the rest of us" includes a sickening level of nastiness and power-playing, how can politicians hope to be immune?

I'm going to fight my own case to the bitter end. And, win or lose, the end can only be bitter, now. There is nothing good to be got from this sickness. And I have a lot more sympathy for those who are fighting the corruption they face, whatever form that takes, now that I know, personally, what it's like.

Er, wha? (2)

MenTaLguY (5483) | more than 14 years ago | (#1703652)

Stalin was a priest.

Hrm. Can you offer documentation of this?

Berlin-- []

Re:Presidential Canidates (1)

existance (15633) | more than 14 years ago | (#1703653)

We all get to vote in Nov. 2000 for Presidential and lots of other canidates. The hope would be that we don't have to re-elect someone who supports crap like this.
While I agree with you on this, I can't help but to point out that the popular vote doesn't matter too much anymore with the electoral college's presence..

I also agree with you on Ventura's +, and I wish more candidates were concerned with personal freedoms, as I have yet to see a top level bureaucrat fighting for my freedoms, only what they deem necessary for the well-being of the majority.

A while back, Terry Hogan announced his retirement from wrestling, and hinted at maybe running for president. I don't know if he'd do it or not, but the thought of someone with very little political experience running for the highest office (?) in the country, or world, appeals to me. More people need to realize that you only have to be 35 years old, and a native born citizen of the US in order to run. Unfortunately, while we do have the few who run like this, the race is strictly biased by the media towards the person with the most experience and financial backing.. something that the "baseline" candidates lack, and something we probably need to start supporting. As long as a majority of the people are ignorant and only think that they can 'vote' for one of two or three candidates, then the two major parties will continue to rule over us.. whether we like it or not.

just my 1/50th of $1

Read some Gore Vidal. This is not news. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1703654)

Try "Decline and Fall of the American Empire".

Vidal clearly points out that America has become a "national police state" wherein some supposed and/or contrived bogey-man threatens our safety.

The government and big business have slowly been chipping away at your freedoms for years in order to gently redirect your interests to be in line with theirs.

We have succesfully created a nation of obedient consumers.

Re:It's not suicide, it's desperation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1703656)

I agree wih your vision for the future. But the government hasn't shown that it understands encryption and the coming disintegration of national boundaries. Do you really think congress is smart enough to try to guard against it?

Which freedoms do you want stomped on? (1)

mdvkng (59799) | more than 14 years ago | (#1703658)

First or second amendment?

Strange country you have. More of your citizens die from gunshot wounds than the rest of the G24/OECD countries combined. Yet when it come time to figure out why, your elected twits decide it has something to do with entertainment and not all of your guns.

So, if the rest of the world's rich countries watch the same TV and movie violence, surf the same internet, and play the same Quake deathmatches and other violent video games, and yet manage to have a murder rate less than a tenth that of the US, it must be magic. It can't have anything to do with the fact that we have far fewer guns.

What's wrong with you and your politicians and your stupid gun lobby? Get rid of all of your lethal weapons and maybe the problem will be less.

And BTW, I'm writing from Canada, a country with sctrict guns laws, a miniscule murder rate, and yet our hunting season is alive and well. Go figure.

Open your eyes America, maybe, just maybe, some of us ignoranrt hut/igloo dwelling foreigners have it figured out better than the greatest country in the history of history (sarcasm intended).


Re:This is news for nerds? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1703660)

OK, I knew it was flamebait, but I'll take the bait.

We do not have "vaguely anti-authoritarian views". We have strong anti-authoritarian views. Almost all of us read books like 1984. We know where authoritanism can get. Therefore, we try to avoid it.

Also, _North American_ censorship affects the net. Whatever affects the net is important to us. People that don't belong here should leave it alone.
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