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Censorship Your Rights Online Politics

UN Officials Remove Poster Mentioning Chinese Firewall 409

At a UN-sponsored Internet Governance Forum in Egypt, anti-censorship group Open Net Initiative was startled by a demand from UN officials to remove a poster mentioning Chinese Net censorship. When ONI refused the request, security personnel arrived and took away the poster. The group was promoting a new book, Access Controlled, a survey of Internet censorship, filtering, and online surveillance. A witness said, "The poster was thrown on the floor and we were told to remove it because of the reference to China and Tibet. We refused, and security guards came and removed it. The incident was witnessed by many." Here is a video of the removal.
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UN Officials Remove Poster Mentioning Chinese Firewall

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  • But hey... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bsDaemon ( 87307 ) on Sunday November 15, 2009 @07:07PM (#30109864)
    The UN would be better than ICANN, right?
  • by Josh04 ( 1596071 ) on Sunday November 15, 2009 @07:10PM (#30109892)
    If it exists to exert and expand UN control, it's doing an utterly terrible job of it.
  • by qbzzt ( 11136 ) on Sunday November 15, 2009 @07:13PM (#30109930)

    The UN prefers the interests of member governments over western ideals? I'm shocked! Shocked!

    Seriously, imagine the Republican Party leadership, and/or the Democratic Party leadership, if they never had to stand for elections. How much would they care about our interests? Now, remember that most of the UN doesn't belong to our culture either. Why would a bunch of government employees, mostly from dictatorships of one kind or another, be opposed to censorship?

  • by socsoc ( 1116769 ) on Sunday November 15, 2009 @07:16PM (#30109952)
    Like the rest of the world, the U.N. would like to think that China and their human rights abuses don't exist.
  • by wizardforce ( 1005805 ) on Sunday November 15, 2009 @07:16PM (#30109958) Journal

    Let's hope it stays that way.

  • Re:Values (Score:3, Insightful)

    by qbzzt ( 11136 ) on Sunday November 15, 2009 @07:24PM (#30109998)

    The UN was originally the alliance of anti-Nazi powers: US, UK, and USSR. Out of the three, two were western. Now, however, most countries are not western and not interested in becoming western.

    I don't see why the US is paying 22% of the costs [].

  • by qbzzt ( 11136 ) on Sunday November 15, 2009 @07:26PM (#30110024)

    There are three ways to expand one's power:

    1. Convince people to give you power.
    2. Trade for it, which requires having something to trade.
    3. Use violence or the threat thereof to get people to do what you want.

    The UN doesn't have anything useful for #2, and "you and what army" for #3. #1 is the only option left to them, and sovereign nations are not very easy to convince to give up their power (except, maybe, for post-National Europe).

  • by Ritz_Just_Ritz ( 883997 ) on Sunday November 15, 2009 @07:26PM (#30110030)

    One need only look at the "aid" money China lavishes on Africa in exchange for sweetheart deals to buy their natural resources to know why this happened.

    Is anyone really surprised?

  • by Concerned Onlooker ( 473481 ) on Sunday November 15, 2009 @07:28PM (#30110040) Homepage Journal

    The video itself was very mild in content. A bunch of people standing around looking at a poster that had been knocked down. But the awful moment came when the guard removed the poster and you can hear people actually clapping. It so reminded me of that quote "So this is how liberty dies, with thunderous applause."

  • Re:Values (Score:3, Insightful)

    by headkase ( 533448 ) on Sunday November 15, 2009 @07:28PM (#30110042)
    The sad part is how well the US and UK have been respecting Citizen rights lately. Maybe the issue is systemic instead of an isolated act of stupidity.
  • by NoYob ( 1630681 ) on Sunday November 15, 2009 @07:30PM (#30110054)

    "We condemn this undemocratic act of censoring our event just because someone is trying to impress or be in the good graces of the Chinese government.

    That's what happens when you owe a lot of money to someone or want some of their money.

    Up next: China takes back Taiwan and the US Government does nothing.

    Now just remember that when you go to put all those Christmas gifts (Made in China) on your credit card (in a very circuitous route:Financed by China).

    Yep! Now who's the Super Power, again?

  • by mysidia ( 191772 ) on Sunday November 15, 2009 @07:33PM (#30110076)

    That the UN itself has become an arm of the chinese government, in censoring anti-censorship advocates.

  • by Gothmolly ( 148874 ) on Sunday November 15, 2009 @07:55PM (#30110252)

    When will the rest of the world wake up and realize that China is NOT your friend?

  • Another theory (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 15, 2009 @07:59PM (#30110288)

    Is it at all possible that rather than it being "anti-censorship", it was simply that they didn't want someone trying to hawk merchandise? Is it possible that the witness jumped to a conclusion and filled in the details for what he thought was a reason?

    I noticed in the video that the room didn't have any other posters advertising anything.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 15, 2009 @08:00PM (#30110300)
    In the age of Barack Hussein Obama, the new American ideology is that all nations and all cultures have identical value. This ideology says that the quality of life (and freedom of speech) in Egypt and China does not differ from the quality of life (and freedom of speech) in Germany and France.

    This foolish ideology occasionally conflicts with hard reality: the security forces (of the United Nations) under pressure from the Egyptian people tear down the posters condemning Beijing's censorship of the Internet.

    The hard reality says that both Egyptian culture and Chinese culture are inferior to French culture and Germany culture. In Germany and France, freedom of speech is a basic human right. Anyone -- citizen and non-citizen -- in Germany and France is entitled to freedom of speech. If a Chinese agent attempted to tear down similar posters in Germany, the German police would arrest the Chinese nitwit and throw him into prison for a few days.

    In China (and Egypt), a nitwit tearing down posters condemning censorship would be praised as a guardian of the "great" Chinese nation, and the brave soul who displayed the poster would be thrown into prison for a few years.

    Buddha damn Chinese (and Egyptian) society.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 15, 2009 @08:06PM (#30110352)

    It brings to mind the old quote, "When You Dance With the Devil, the Devil Don't Change - the Devil Changes You". The fact that we remain silent proves we are a changed country. China is the drug dealer and we can't piss them off because they may cut off our credit and cheap iPods.

  • by Anpheus ( 908711 ) on Sunday November 15, 2009 @08:09PM (#30110378)

    And our complete apathy towards the largest international diplomatic body are helping... how?

    I mean, at least for citizens of the United States to complain about the UN is almost hilarious. Our previous ambassador wanted nothing more than to tear the whole thing down. Half the nation thinks diplomacy is for little girls and real men point missiles at each other until a vein pops or someone blinks.

    If we want to improve it, we need to contribute to the process. If we refuse to contribute, and then someone in the UN does something stupid, or goes against US foreign policy, we have no room to complain.

    Your discourse helps no one and all it does is promote a helpless fatalism in international politics.

    P.S.: Get over yourself and your conspiracy theories. "Never attribute to malice that which can adequately be explained by stupidity" should be "never attribute to a massive conspiracy that which can be adequately explained by one middle-manager overreacting." I'm guessing one middle-management-esque official in the UN saw the poster, took unnecessary authority of the situation and demanded that it be taken down. When he didn't get his way he called guards whose job is to listen to higher ups, who did as their job asks without questioning their "boss". And the result was a petty diplomatic incident wherein someone overreached and may even get punished for acting hastily and calling yet more attention to Chinese censorship.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 15, 2009 @08:19PM (#30110460)

    Actually, that's not at all how international trade works. It's more akin to:

    1. An American company wishes to buy shitty goods manufactured in China.
    2. The American company buys renminbi using American dollars.
    3. The American company spends the renminbi to buy the shitty Chinese goods.
    4. The Chinese send to America the shitty goods that come broken, or end up breaking soon after.
    5. The Chinese have both the dollars and the renminbi, and all the Americans got was some shitty, poorly-manufactured plastic toys.
    6. The Chinese use those American dollars, as they still have perceived value in some areas of the world, to buy land, factories, natural resources and other property in Africa.
    7. The Americans still just have shitty plastic toys and the Africans have near-worthless currency, but the Chinese have African land, factories, gold, oil, coal, and even people under their control now.

    The Americans lost. The Africans lost. The Chinese won.

  • by Antique Geekmeister ( 740220 ) on Sunday November 15, 2009 @08:20PM (#30110464)

    This is not feasible. Too much of our food (and opium) comes from the the third world, too many critical minerals come from there, and too much of our sales of arms, pharmaceuticals, entertainment, and other processed goods goes to third world purchasers. And make no mistake, "second world" nations make little pretense of being democratic.

    Are you willing to pay twice the current rates for computers because gold and mercury prices used for their manufacture are quadrupled? Even if you're willing, do you think many slashdotters would still be employed in that economy?

  • by MrMista_B ( 891430 ) on Sunday November 15, 2009 @08:33PM (#30110574)

    "Why didn't the folks promoting the book just stand it up again, I wonder?"

    Because they didn't want to be beaten and 'indefinitely detained' for 'interfering in the lawful duties of the authorities'.

  • by Concerned Onlooker ( 473481 ) on Sunday November 15, 2009 @08:36PM (#30110584) Homepage Journal

    Apparently I did. How could you tell? Or are you ascribing your own feelings to the situation?

  • mall cops (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hey ( 83763 ) on Sunday November 15, 2009 @08:57PM (#30110706) Journal

    malls cops won't let you set up a stand in a mall... unless you pay rent and sign an agreement.
    Maybe these guys didn't do that.

  • by Toonol ( 1057698 ) on Sunday November 15, 2009 @09:17PM (#30110820)
    In fairness, the notion that all nations and cultures have equal value has been prevalent in certain quarters (including higher education) for decades... at least in the (paradoxically) more advanced cultures. It's both foolish and dangerous, but it's nothing new with Obama.

    I think people mistake condemnation or criticism of some cultural issues with racism... as if decrying, say, the barbaric behavior of some middle eastern cultures was equivalent to being racist against Arabic people. It's ridiculous.
  • by kimvette ( 919543 ) on Sunday November 15, 2009 @09:19PM (#30110822) Homepage Journal

    Someone please explain to me why China is getting treated with kid gloves? Their idea of human rights is atrocious and a billion+ people are living under oppression, with limited to no freedom of speech and no freedom of worship. They look the other way where child labor is concerned, and they have most favored trading partner status with several countries (meaning they pay little to no tariffs while not gtranting those trading partners the same privilege). Why we're in a race with China to the bottom is beyond me.

    Okay, well, I do understand that is a few politicians in the industrialized nations with clout who envy the power the elite in China have and desire the middle class to be expunged from existence so that everyone is dependent upon big brother, but how do the politicians in those nations justify their actions when questioned? They certainly won't admit the truth, I'm sure.

  • Re:But hey... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Idiomatick ( 976696 ) on Sunday November 15, 2009 @09:21PM (#30110852)
    Devil's Advocate here:

    - You don't know what this has to do with UN policy, it could be a cautious guard that doesn't want anyone rocking the boat during the group. Seems decently reasonable.
    - I saw no other posters at the convention. The poster could have been wildly inappropriate. If I went to a dinner about abortion methods for doctors where the topic was to discuss efficient safe methods. And I brought a big ass jesus loves your baby poster to the event it sure as hell would get taken down.
    - Maybe the guard was an idiot... Who knocks a poster onto the floor? Taking it away makes sense, so fine do that. But the fact that the guy knocked it onto the floor hints that he was a bit of a nutter. Which would point to him not being the absolute representative of the UN.
    - Do try to apply occam's razor.

    Anyone else want to play devils advocate with me. The raw emotional responses on /. are a bit worrisome. Lets not all jump to conclusions out of how bad this COULD be.
  • by Jiro ( 131519 ) on Sunday November 15, 2009 @09:31PM (#30110898)
    <i>I mean, at least for citizens of the United States to complain about the UN is almost hilarious. Our previous ambassador wanted nothing more than to tear the whole thing down.</i>

    Huh? That's like saying "it's hilarious that you complain about that restaurant's food, when you don't even want to eat there".

    Having complaints about the UN is <i>why</i> Americans want to tear it down.
  • by Toonol ( 1057698 ) on Sunday November 15, 2009 @09:34PM (#30110918)
    Everyone knows that FOX news and Rush Limbaugh are to be compared with the National inquirer when it comes to news.

    That's roughly accurate, although saying "everybody knows" is silly. Now, do you realize that CNN and MSNBC, and yes, even NPR, are no better? Or do you think they're magically better because they correspond more closely to your beliefs?
  • by ClickOnThis ( 137803 ) on Sunday November 15, 2009 @09:49PM (#30111014) Journal

    Why didn't the folks promoting the book just stand it up again, I wonder?

    Aside from other reasons mentioned here, perhaps they thought the irony of it lying on the floor gave it more impact.

  • by MichaelSmith ( 789609 ) on Sunday November 15, 2009 @10:16PM (#30111134) Homepage Journal

    Someone please explain to me why China is getting treated with kid gloves?

    Because if they go down we all go down and they know it.

  • by TubeSteak ( 669689 ) on Sunday November 15, 2009 @10:20PM (#30111160) Journal

    What does anything you said have to do with censorship?
    All governments and private organizations practice censorship to some extent.
    The debate isn't "is censorship bad," but isntead the debate is "how much is too much".

  • Re:But hey... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Idiomatick ( 976696 ) on Sunday November 15, 2009 @10:57PM (#30111442)
    "Not rocking the boat would likely involve not making a scene such as this. In fact, the net effect is that more attention was drawn to the Great Firewall."
    That doesn't say much though. /. has thousands of Streisand effect stories. But that doesn't mean people are informed of it, in fact the opposite is true. Even really educated people screw it up.

    "the big ass Jesus poster would probably be left alone at an event like that."
    I don't know... If the topic were the right and wrong of abortions and other groups had posters then that would be fine. I think the interesting thing is that it looked to be more of a meeting with refreshments and conversation afterward. Much like a play or concert. If someone showed up to the refreshment area with a poster I imagine they'd be asked to leave...

    "He was UN security that was called in after a request to remove the poster. There was someone who thought it was a bad idea to criticize the Great Firewall."
    Again this lines up with the not wanting to cause any problems at the event theory. At international events the kinds the UN hosts they need to be very politically correct. Certainly allow the debate to be lively within said bounds. I can imagine one side showing up with banners and shit to a debate would be frowned upon. And UN events with many countries need to be even more careful. This isn't an unreasonable goal. And it is not siding with the Chinese, it just keeping the event moving.

    Anyways we didn't even get to hear the spat between the guard and the poster guy. We know little about the event. We didn't not listen to the other side. No matter what the case we cannot pass judgment with so little to go on.

    Also I'm a /. nerd too... I hate the GFoC as much as anyone else. I'm just saying keep it in check and approach this thing logically guys.
  • Re:Values (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sasha328 ( 203458 ) on Sunday November 15, 2009 @11:03PM (#30111484) Homepage

    Thanks for the Link to the article.

    Maybe you should've also included the following in your "summary":

    The Declaration starts by forbidding "any discrimination on the basis of race, colour, language, belief, sex, religion, political affiliation, social status or other considerations". It continues on to proclaim the sanctity of life, and declares the "preservation of human life" as "a duty prescribed by the Shariah". In addition the CDHRI guarantees "non-belligerents such as old men, women and children", "wounded and the sick" and "prisoners of war", the right to be fed, sheltered and access to safety and medical treatment in times of war. If affirmed, this would indicate that acts of terrorism are violations of human rights.

    The CDHRI gives men and women the "right to marriage" regardless of their race, colour or nationality, but not religion. In addition women are given "equal human dignity", "own rights to enjoy", "duties to perform", "own civil entity", "financial independence", and the "right to retain her name and lineage", though not equal rights in general. The Declaration makes the husband responsible for the social and financial protection of the family. The Declaration gives both parents the rights over their children, and makes it incumbent upon both of them to protect the child, before and after birth. The Declaration also entitles every family the "right to privacy". It also forbids the demolition, confiscation and eviction of any family from their residence. Furthermore, should the family get separated in times of war, it is the responsibility of the State to "arrange visits or reunions of families".

    Don't single out Muslims for this. I am not a muslim, but an evangelical christian, but I do recognise hypocrisy when I see it (usually). Having something in writing (and signed) does not mean that it is being followed. So, as you can see, it seems a lot of muslim countries don't follow their own stated declarations. But, believe it or not, neither some bastions of freedom in the Western World.
    An example is the US and their segregation laws which contravened the UN UDHR or South Africa's Apartheid regime which flouted a few provisions. Or maybe the Australian goivernment denying citizenship rights to their indigenous population even after being signatories to the UDHR.

  • by pdabbadabba ( 720526 ) on Sunday November 15, 2009 @11:03PM (#30111486) Homepage

    The notion that all nations and cultures have equal value...[is] nothing new with Obama.


  • by couchslug ( 175151 ) on Sunday November 15, 2009 @11:03PM (#30111492)

    "One need only look at the "aid" money China lavishes on Africa in exchange for sweetheart deals to buy their natural resources to know why this happened."

    Good idea on China's part, and we should be doing the same. Our rules of engagement will be our undoing, for we do not live in a virtuous world and virtue towards those not of our own culture has no reward.

    China is the superpower of the future because it acts in the interests of Chinese. Their progress since 1948 has no historic parallel anywhere, despite little blips like the Cultural Revolution. China is also the only country with actual will to act against Islam and religion in general. Expect great things from China as the West recedes into gutless self-doubt and corruption.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 15, 2009 @11:43PM (#30111742)

    Yeah, it's like the ridiculous "right" to own property, even though I don't know who will pay to keep other people from using the property, or the "right" to be protected from crime, as if police and courts just magically appear, without someone having to pay for them.

    The most obscene "rights" of all are the crazy ideas that there's some magical protection of "free speech", that the government should be chosen in elections and that a huge military machine should be built up to prevent foreign invasions. All these things cost money, which means all the people who favour this socialist nonsense are thieves! Nobody should be forced to pay to defend someone else's so-called "freedom of speech", "right to vote" or "national defence". None of these are rights, just excuses for socialists to steal money from the hard-working, gun-owning population.

    Obviously whoever has the most guns should decide what people are allowed to say, appoint the government and invade other countries before they have the chance to invade us. It's just common sense. And if these crazy socialists think they have some "right" to own property, let them pay for the guns to keep other people off of it. Let them pay for the guns to defend their so-called "right" not to be robbed, raped or killed.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 16, 2009 @12:00AM (#30111812)

    I'm not here to do your social studies homework for you. I was able to debunk your main claim -- that Obama won the election solely because black voters are racist -- off the top of my head with 2 seconds of googling to verify it. If your research there is so poor that it wouldn't even pass muster in a middle school class, I don't feel it worth my time to attempt to debunk every single claim you made. Have you even looked into any other possible explanations? Policy differences, campaign strategies, correlation with income,...? Have you considered the proximity of the NC primaries to some of the "scandals" that were revealed about Obama? The Reverend Wright scandal, for instance, would be far less likely to upset black voters (particularly churchgoers) than white, asian, or hispanic voters who do not have a cultural familiarity with black churches.

    Let me end on a piece of advice:
    If you're being serious about this, then it would behoove you in the future to not stake the majority of your post on a bold claim without first at least doing rudimentary background checks on said claim. If you had taken even a moment to compare your "65%" figure with other recent elections you would have spared yourself this embarrassment and been able to bring up the more subtle question of apparent bias in the primaries without appearing disreputable.
    If you're not being serious -- trolling, in other words -- then you still should not make a bold, important claim that can easily be disproven. You're far more likely to catch a live one -- get someone to actually do a large amount of research and waste a considerable portion of their day -- if you don't immediately scare them off with trivially false claims.

    Have a nice day.

  • by AK Marc ( 707885 ) on Monday November 16, 2009 @12:00AM (#30111814)
    The sad part is it could have prevented WWII, if only the US were to have ratified it and backed it solidly. Instead, we stuck our heads in the sand until half-way through WWII. Sometimes the right thing to do is hard. So we do the wrong thing, promoting/allowing evil, and blame the evil we helped make.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 16, 2009 @12:35AM (#30111984)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 16, 2009 @01:49AM (#30112344)

    I have known about this for over a decade.

    News articles that are "too good to be true" in a "future time" tend to disappear...of course, I print them out and still have them...but if you try the link...gone.

    Just as the internet has promoted the free flow of information, so can it too become a dictator's wet dream.

  • by MightyMartian ( 840721 ) on Monday November 16, 2009 @01:50AM (#30112346) Journal

    Whatever the standpoint, at the end of the day, I'd rather be a US citizen than a Chinese citizen. Real freedoms, as opposed to whatever bullshit subjective measurement Chinese apologists like to invoke, is what counts. The US isn't perfect, but it sure is a helluva lot freer a society than China. Picture the political cartoons of even the most powerful political leaders, and then look at how everybody has to talk under their breath if they want to question the Chinese leadership.

  • by DNS-and-BIND ( 461968 ) on Monday November 16, 2009 @02:22AM (#30112478) Homepage
    Is it OK that, once, China could be called out on its horrible record without mentioning in the same breath that the United States is worse, much worse? Seriously, this phenomenon is like a disease.
  • by mooingyak ( 720677 ) on Monday November 16, 2009 @03:55AM (#30112876)

    Now, do you realize that CNN and MSNBC, and yes, even NPR, are no better?

    I would disagree with that, though 'better' does not mean good. They're better in the sense that breaking your arm is better than breaking your spine.

  • by HoppQ ( 29469 ) on Monday November 16, 2009 @04:53AM (#30113140)

    Everyone knows that FOX news and Rush Limbaugh are to be compared with the National inquirer when it comes to news.

    That's roughly accurate, although saying "everybody knows" is silly. Now, do you realize that CNN and MSNBC, and yes, even NPR, are no better? Or do you think they're magically better because they correspond more closely to your beliefs?

    Well, at least CNN and MSNBC don't just flat-out lie about the facts, report their own talking-heads points of view as news, or copy any political party's press releases as their own news reports the way Fox News does. From the looks of it, quite frankly, you'd think that Olbermann's and Maddow's teams do better fact checking than the Fox News newsroom does. Either that or Fox News newsroom simply ignore the results of their fact checking when it doesn't support the story they want to run, which quite often seems to be the case when they report on politics. Incompetents or liars, that's Fox News, take your pick.

  • by KiloByte ( 825081 ) on Monday November 16, 2009 @05:31AM (#30113296)

    Except in China's case that 100% lip service, and actively working -- yes, they are, in the other direction.

  • by jandersen ( 462034 ) on Monday November 16, 2009 @05:32AM (#30113306)

    The U.N. exists to exert and expand U.N. control, wherever possible

    It would be funny if it wasn't so tragic, the way certain Slashdotters seem to think, if "think" is indeed the right term.

    First UN: they don't exist to promote democracy, freedom or any other such ideologically charged ideals - UN is there to promote communication between governments, primarily; everything else secondary to that. When things like emergency aid occur, they are happy consequences of the cooperation that springs from the effort to communicate in an orderly manner. It is also a voluntary organisation - nations choose to participate, they are not forced to do so, and UN doesn't make laws or enforce anything, which is one of the reasons, I suspect, why we so often see that countries make promises and later ignore them.

    It is of course nonsense to say that UN "exists to exert power"; that is just one of those sweeping statements that show that you don't know and don't want to know what you are talking about - you just want to spit your gall out on anything or anybody who isn't there to defend themselves. If you want to do something constructive, go and find out where that comes from instead of inventing scapegoats.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 16, 2009 @06:17AM (#30113472)

    I smell bullshit. Let's take a closer look at that document [] shall we?

    -> women can not choose whether to marry, nor to whom

    Wrong. Nowhere does it state this, though it does state "Men and women have the right to marriage, and no restrictions stemming from race, colour or nationality shall prevent them from enjoying this right."

    So, a Muslim woman can choose to marry an atheist man? Did you miss the part where they didn't exempt religious restrictions in this right?

  • by MrNaz ( 730548 ) * on Monday November 16, 2009 @06:45AM (#30113592) Homepage

    Good thing I don't accept any of the tenets of post-modernism as being valid then.

  • by jez9999 ( 618189 ) on Monday November 16, 2009 @06:53AM (#30113628) Homepage Journal

    On the other hand, the list of societies that have been irreparably damaged by westerners who thought they knew better trying to 'civilise the barbarians' is long.

    Yeah. Thank god Westerners didn't go into South Africa, Rhodesia, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, India, North America, Mexico, or Honk Kong. Those places are much better off right now, not having had our terrible influence.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 16, 2009 @07:31AM (#30113772)

    You should consider first observing a right, not enforcing it. All real rights are defined negatively - that is, to observe some right of yours, other people must abstain from some malicious action against you. An example would be property right: to observe your property right, other meople must not steal from you. Inaction (not stealing) as such doesn't cost anything and so does NOT have to be paid for. OTOH, the fake "rights" socialists like to invent are defined positively - to observe such "right" of yours, other people must actively take some actions beneficial to you. An example would be the "right" to health care: to observe that "right," other people have to provide you that care. This action (provision of health care) has an intrinsic cost associated with it and therefore has to be paid for.

    Now, enforcing both a right and a "right" obviously costs money, but that is beside the point: only real rights - which are free to observe, as shown above - deserve enforcement.

    Sorry for my possibly bad English.

  • by DNS-and-BIND ( 461968 ) on Monday November 16, 2009 @08:15AM (#30114018) Homepage
    You know, I said the same thing about Bu$hitler, and got shouted down and modded to -1 Flamebait.

    Obama uses his middle name to appeal to audiences who share a cultural connection with it. He should only be allowed to use the positive connotations, and anyone else who uses it for any other reason should be "an enormous flaming douchebag"? Honestly, do you not understand the value of diversity of thought and encouraging the opinions of people with whom you disagree? It's all I've heard for the past 20 years, and all the sudden anyone who dissents needs to shut up and be publicly shamed?

  • by Nite_Hawk ( 1304 ) on Monday November 16, 2009 @11:56AM (#30116118) Homepage

    I work for a University. I don't know a single person here that believes the constitution should no longer be taught in schools. You are a troll.

To write good code is a worthy challenge, and a source of civilized delight. -- stolen and paraphrased from William Safire