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Want Freedom?

michael posted about 12 years ago | from the not-badly-enough dept.

United States 1084

Xenopax writes "According to this story on the Sacramento Bee Americans are now more willing to throw away their first amendment rights for the false feeling of security than ever before. In fact many believe that the First amendment goes too far with its protection and think we should allow monitoring of religious groups for national security. Also many people believe the media shouldn't be allowed to question the government in times of war. One has to wonder if anyone cares about their constitutional rights any more, or if everyone would be happier living in 1984." The study is conducted by the Freedom Forum every year and is available for download.

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Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4170892)



Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4170924)

holy shitballs. 5 first post's in one week............ hell yea........


pist forst (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4170896)


Re:pist forst (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4170950)


Its a rollercoaster. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4170897)

Of course people want security after 9/11.

Its a hype that will die down with time.

Everytime a study is made saying something slightly bad is NOT a time to freak out and get out your tinfoil hats.

In conclusion, I'd like to point out that michael (besides the science stories, just on the yro stories) causes the biggest amount of paranoid trolling I've ever seen out of another person before in my life.

Re:Its a rollercoaster. (1)

N3WBI3 (595976) | about 12 years ago | (#4170932)

The problem is if we lay the legal foundations to do something now (ie Moniter a certain group) after the heat of the moment passes that foundation is still there to be abused in the future..

Re:Its a rollercoaster. (2)

daoine (123140) | about 12 years ago | (#4171048)

Its a hype that will die down with time.
Everytime a study is made saying something slightly bad is NOT a time to freak out and get out your tinfoil hats.

It's too bad the parent was modded as flamebait -- I think it's pretty close to on target (well, except for the flame at the bottom..ok, maybe it deserved to be flamebait). I don't think this study is showing a change in trend on what we think of the First Amendment -- I think it's showing the backlash of our fears. Questions can be phrased such that you'll agree with them, even if at the core you don't.

Take, for example, this statement:

48 percent of respondents agreed the government should have the freedom to monitor religious groups in the interest of national security - even if that means infringing upon the religious freedom of the group's members. Forty-two percent said the government should have more authority to monitor Muslims.
With a poll error of +/- 3% this statement basically reflects our fear of radical Muslim attacks. [note, I understand calling them Muslim is a hypocrisy to the Muslim faith, it's just how they've been labeled in the media] Newsflash: no kidding. We know this already. Had the question been phrased "Do you believe YOUR religious activities should be monitored by the government", and specified just how it would be done, I wonder if the answer would be different.

Far more interesting will be to look 20 years down the road and see how the opinions shift. As far as I'm concerned, this is only a blip on the radar -- it may be something, but it's not worth sending out the armed forces yet.

One of my favourite quotes... (5, Insightful)

Robber Baron (112304) | about 12 years ago | (#4170902)

Beware the leader who bangs the drums of war in order to whip the citizenry into a patriotic fervor, for patriotism is indeed a double-edged sword. It both emboldens the blood, just as it narrows the mind. And when the drums of war have reached a fever pitch and the blood boils with hate and the mind has closed, the leader will have no need in seizing the rights of the citizenry. Rather, the citizenry, infused with fear and blinded by patriotism, will offer up all of their rights unto the leader and gladly so. How do I know? For this is what I have done. And I am Caesar. - Julius Caesar

Re:One of my favourite quotes... (5, Interesting)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | about 12 years ago | (#4171053)

The United States has not had real conflict in its borders since the mid 19th century - even 9/11 wasn't a real war at home in anyway comparable to anything the rest of the world has had to deal with for most of the 20th century. In light of that fact, it wasn't surprising that a rhetoric of a free society was able to develop. In light of the love of comfort and security that the American populace evinces, I sometimes think that if it faced the sorts of turmoil that Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America confronted, it would be willing to create a society far less free than many of the above in order to defend those comforts. The luxury of freedom apparently ranks below other luxuries.

Re:One of my favourite quotes... (5, Informative)

rcw-home (122017) | about 12 years ago | (#4171094)

Great quote. I just wish we knew who said it. It's [] a [] fake [] .

Let's repeal it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4170903)

We don't really need it, we can trust our government to take care of us. Why do you need to speak out against such a great and trustworthy body?

Heck, let's scrap the whole constitution. I trust President Bush enough to let him be a dictator. He's got a family too, in case something happens, so Jeb can take over, or maybe his nephew or whoever else can grab power.

It'll only take 66%-75% of Americans to support this to get it to happen... less if we cheat! Yeah!

of course... (5, Funny)

elmegil (12001) | about 12 years ago | (#4170906)

It's only ok if they monitor those OTHER religions. My religion is just fine, and of course there's no way GWB would monitor my Church.

(for the sarcasm impaired: that is not my real belief).

Those who can't remember the past are doomed to... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4171082)

"First they came for the Jews. I was silent. I was not a Jew. Then they came for the Communists. I was silent. I was not a Communist. Then they came for the trade unionists. I was silent. I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for me. There was no one left to speak for me." -Martin Niemoller (1892-1984)

Why just the Bill of Rights? (1)

Soulfader (527299) | about 12 years ago | (#4170909)

Perhaps nitpicky, but why link to just the Bill of Rights under the text "constitutional rights" when you can get the whole thing [] ?

Re:Why just the Bill of Rights? (2)

Xenopax (238094) | about 12 years ago | (#4170987)

Yeah, I thought about that after I submitted the article. My thought process went 1st amendment - > bill of rights -> google - > post to slashdot - > doh.

Re:Why just the Bill of Rights? (1)

Soulfader (527299) | about 12 years ago | (#4171068)

That makes sense; it's just the label that struck me as odd. NBD.

Re:Why just the Bill of Rights? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4171010)

Because that's where the personal rights are defined. The main body of the constitution details how the government will work, the bodies it will consist of, the requirements for elected officials, etc.

Re:Why just the Bill of Rights? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4171014)

Because it's the only part that is important.

Ad that with... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4170912)

the didgital security ID chip thats being implanted in that family and its just getting closer and closer to the times presented in Revelations.

The end is near

Re:Ad that with... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4171040)

Beavis: End Good

Butthead: YEA YEA YEA


Butthead: YEA YEA YEA

Is it possible...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4170918)

The study is conducted by the Freedom Forum every year and is available for download.

Is it possible that the Freedom Forum is trying to get some publicity from the post-9/11 jitters?
Lets face it, they are extreme liberitarians that just want their voice heard, so they ensure that the stats will speak for them to get people paranoid and get press.

duh (1)

xeeno (313431) | about 12 years ago | (#4170920)

It's the first amendment. You can monitor whoever you want as much as you want. It's a problem when you *restrict* speech.
I say that I'm going to blow up the local mall. Because of this, other things I say are monitored and I'm watched closely. I might even be picked up and hassled. But I shouldn't be imprisoned because I said it.

Re:duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4170980)

I say that I'm going to blow up the local mall. Because of this, other things I say are monitored and I'm watched closely. I might even be picked up and hassled. But I shouldn't be imprisoned because I said it.

So, threatening to blow something up shouldn't be a crime? How about threatening to kill someone? How about plotting the actual bombing?

Re:duh (1)

sloveless (518479) | about 12 years ago | (#4171006)

You've got that completely backwards.

You can't just spy on your neighbor because you think he's a pinko commie bastard or an Al Queda sypmathiser. That requires a court ordered warrant.

But go ahead and yell "Fire!" really loud the next time you're sitting in a crowded theater. See if anyone gives a damn about your rights when they haul your ass off to jail.

Chilling Effect, anyone? (3, Insightful)

Soulfader (527299) | about 12 years ago | (#4171029)

It's a very dangerous line you leap across with such abandon. If you can't understand how the threat of monitoring (let alone being "picked up and hassled") could affect how free your speech is, I'm not sure that there is much point to further discussion. You don't have to be imprisoned to be silenced.

copyright and IP are not constitutional. (2)

HanzoSan (251665) | about 12 years ago | (#4171047)

Because patents and copyright restrict speech.

Post the source code to DCSS? Go to jail.
Transmit a file to a user on P2P? Go to jail.

Freedom of speech is being removed by Capitalism, Greed is destroying the constitution. If you want to claim the USA is all about freedom, and hype the USA up to China and Communist countries, saying USA is the greatest country in the world.

On paper USA is the greatest country in the world, however we dont even follow our own rules! Constitution says freedom of speech rules above capitalism, so why are we allowing capitalism to remove universal rights?

If you are going to have freedom of speech there are no special case senarios, this means no source code can be copyrighted, and everything on the net we should have the right to share and copy freely.

Saying we cant share this, we cant copy that, we cant use certain source code, and we cant even mention how the code works in public, theres no free speech left on the net. I fear there wont be any off the net either after everything is patented.

Copyright IS Constitutional (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4171103)

By definition, it is constitutional. From Article 1, Section 8:
To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries;

And people wonder... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4170928)

Why we have a second amendment.

When the Bible-Belt voters and the Texas conservatives mop up California & Chicago and head for New York, I'll be ready.

The word is treason (3, Insightful)

Mr Guy (547690) | about 12 years ago | (#4170930)

the media shouldn't be allowed to question the government in times of war

I don't know of anyone that thinks the government should be required to be entirely truthful about ongoing operations in times of war. If a reporter discovers classified information and shares it, it is not a matter of the first amendment. It is a matter of treason, as if they'd discovered documents and sold them directly to a foreign power.

Just because you belong to the press corps doesn't make you above the law.

Re:The word is treason (4, Insightful)

swingkid (3585) | about 12 years ago | (#4170953)

What part of "question the government" means "reveal classified information," Mr. Ashcroft? Or am I committing treason by asking such a question?

Re:The word is treason (2)

Mr Guy (547690) | about 12 years ago | (#4170996)

That was my point, you have the right to question the government, you have the right to ASK questions. You don't have the right to ask questions using information that you obtained illegally, and asking that question is illegally revealing that information to others.

The government also has the right not to answer. Perhaps I'm mistaken, I read that as "media demanding information" not as "media voicing dissent."

Re:The word is treason (2, Insightful)

cakestick (323966) | about 12 years ago | (#4171051)

You're talking about an entirely different topic.. if the Bush administration does something shady (such as they have been doing since 9/11), the major media outlets should be (and haven't been) monitoring these events, and giving the public a proper base for their decision to throw away constitutional rights. It's this kind of blank patriotism that's going to pull the country away from the people, and into the hands of a select few.

Re:The word is treason (Well, not really...) (2, Insightful)

kcurtis (311610) | about 12 years ago | (#4171095)

There is only one crime defined in the US Constitution, and that is treason...

Article 3, Section 3, Clause 1: Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

You don't what is reported, so you call it treason. Views like this are a threat to all of us.

I'm not a huge fan of the press, but they are hardly treasonous, and do act to protect our rights, if only for selfish reasons.

Re:The word is treason (2, Insightful)

Lord Apathy (584315) | about 12 years ago | (#4171101)

Just for the record I would like to point out that we are not at war. War requires a formal decoration by Congress, not by the President. I don't know what to call this.

What were the questions? (2, Insightful)

ObviousGuy (578567) | about 12 years ago | (#4170934)

Can we really trust that the questions themselves didn't lend a bias to the results?

For example, if you ask, "In a time of war, do you think there is a limit to the amount of information that should be disseminated to the press?", you'll likely get a high positive response. However if you ask, "Should the government hide information from the press?", you'll end up with a much lower positive response.

Franklin said: (5, Insightful)

YahoKa (577942) | about 12 years ago | (#4170936)

Trade freedom for security, and you'll get neither. If only people would understand.

Re:Franklin said: (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4170948)

No offense, but this horse is -DEAD-

That quote was used in EVERY STORY posted from 9/12 till 10/12.

We all know it.

Re:Franklin said: (0, Offtopic)

YahoKa (577942) | about 12 years ago | (#4170978)

So who cares...

Re:Franklin said: (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4171009)

You're the one karma whoring, pal.

Re:Franklin said: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4171055)

That quote was used in EVERY STORY posted from 9/12 till 10/12.

Right. And... I don't know if you intended to imply this, but it seems a striking point that, even with all the quoting, it still hasn't done us much good.

Re:Franklin said: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4171092)

even with all the quoting, it still hasn't done us much good.

The population of slashdot that actually reads the quote isn't in a high percentage of political roles in the government.
This is a karma whore, plan and simple. I'm quite sick of the quote and hope we DO lose our rights so our commie government will burn occurances of that quote and kill those that have it memorized!!


Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4171062)

Who's right is it anyway? (1)

Hittite Creosote (535397) | about 12 years ago | (#4170937)

I think they're still quite keen on their own rights, it's other people's rights (Muslims being the group named in the article) that they'd like to do something about...

The country (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4170945)

The country is diverse, with many differing opinions. Too often we're encouraged to look at "the numbers" and try to imagine what "society" feels about a particular issue. There is no such thing. There are 260 million americans, with such diverse and opposing views that it should come as no suprise that in times of high tension, the "common ground" we thought we shared seems to slip away, as we retreat towards the safety of our personal biases. That's what's happening here. Whether we need to be concerned with it is another matter. Our first amendment rights are already non-absolute, so that's not even the question. It's shades of gray, degrees. All you can do is to try not to respond too emotively, measure and weigh your beleifs and opinions, and do what you know is right for yourself.

"I wasn't using my civil liberties, anyway" (5, Funny)

pivo (11957) | about 12 years ago | (#4170951)

Bumper sticker suggested by a friend of mine. Says it all, really.

Re:"I wasn't using my civil liberties, anyway" (1)

sys$manager (25156) | about 12 years ago | (#4171031)

I saw a bumper sticker the other day on a tow truck that said:

"Stop Whining, Start a Revolution"

Also fitting, IMHO.

Rights (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4170954)

I don't believe the part about the media not being able to question the gov't in times of war. If that were true then they could never question anything as the US is always at war with somebody since they can't mind their own business and feel any problem in the world is theirs to solve.

Be careful... (0)

rczyzewski (585306) | about 12 years ago | (#4170957)

We're being watched right now to see how we respond to this. I smell conspiracy by the government to lock /. users up for good...

Freedom Forum? (2, Insightful)

no_nicks_available (463299) | about 12 years ago | (#4170958)

The Freedom Forum is a nonpartisan foundation dedicated to free press, free speech and free spirit for all people.

and a "study" like this is a great way for them to get in the spotlight and receive additional funding.

There is no such thing as "nonpartisan". Ever. Be skeptical of everything you see/hear/read.

Americans throw away freedom for capitalism (4, Insightful)

HanzoSan (251665) | about 12 years ago | (#4170960)

Intellectual property and copyright law in the digital era = censorship.

The computer is a communications tool which is an extention and enhancement to our ability to communicate and express ourselves, source code is the method of expression, 1s and 0s are the output of this expression.

However current intellectual property law is designed to reduce our abilities to express ourselves via code or even to copy a file.

Copyright and Intellectual property is out of control right now and its slowly removing our freedomm of speech and our right to expression.

Why is it ok to censor people in the name of capitalism, no one but rogue pirates dare step forward and say what we all know is happening.

Freenet, GNU, etc etc, its all about freedom of speech. Alot of people claim "well if you are going to have freedom to be open source you should also have freedom not to be"

However when you arent open source and you support the patent system you support censorship. Its very funny how Americans can jump to complain about China and the evils of Communism, claiming USA is all about freedom, claiming the constitution, but its all bullshit.

USA is about Capitalism right now, not freedom. While we are more free than China, we are only more free than China for now, eventually Capitalism will remove all freedom from us due to our own greed.

Re:Americans throw away freedom for SOCIALISM (4, Insightful)

dada21 (163177) | about 12 years ago | (#4171025)

You've got it confused. We are NOT a capitalist system, we're pushing more socialism and mercantile protectionism than capitalism.

In a true capitalist system, government can NEVER subsidize, tariff, or embargo companies. They can't regulate or control. They can't tax.

In America, our government protects its friendly businesses with subsidies, while harming the competitors to its friends with tariffs and regulations.

Its not Capitalism that hurts our country (greed helps EVERYONE, not just the greedy), its excessive government regulations and subsidies that hurt us.

Re:Americans throw away freedom for SOCIALISM (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4171096)

Hell, America wasn't a capitalist nation when Carnegie lived. There's never been a truly capitalist nation. Too bad; I'd enjoy living in one.

Be afraid (0, Redundant)

Amazing Quantum Man (458715) | about 12 years ago | (#4170962)

Be afraid. Be very, very afraid.

They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. -- Benjamin Franklin

Re:Be afraid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4170981)

MUST this quote come up with EVERY YRO article since 9/11?

We all know the quote, quit karma whoring!!!!

Re:Be afraid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4171015)

Yeah, but it works every time! Handy for topping up those flagging karmas after all that trolling about Linux and shit!


Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4171066)

If I ever meet Ben Fucking Franklin, I WILL KICK HIS ASS!

proposition (2)

skydude_20 (307538) | about 12 years ago | (#4170964)

that there must be some kind of educational requirements met before you are allowed to breed...

In a related story... (0, Offtopic)

Srsen (413456) | about 12 years ago | (#4170966)

Study finds that as many as 50% of Americans have below-average intelligence.

what can you do really... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4170967)

When the gov is manipulating the media and general populace to gain these powers... Throw on top of that group think, and you have a dangerous combination.

I say we dont change a fucking thing, and let the government simply do the job they were SUPPOSED to be doing before 9/11 but now do it CORRECTLY instead of fucking around.

religion (3, Interesting)

Toshito (452851) | about 12 years ago | (#4170974)

I'm not against keeping an eye on religions. They are the biggest source of conflicts in the history of man.

The problem is that not every religion will be treated equaly... Bush will surely not mess with his friends of the christian right...

Apples and Oranges (2, Troll)

Muad'Dave (255648) | about 12 years ago | (#4170976)

While 75 percent considered the right to speak freely as "essential," almost half, 46 percent, supported amending the Constitution to prohibit flag burning.

How are "freedom of speech" as mentioned in the first amendment and the neo-liberal concept of "freedom of expression" remotely related? I support the freedom of speech unconditionally - I do not support the "freedom of expression" - first of all, there's no such thing. Second of all, it's ridiculous to consider phyical actions as speech.

When was the first time "freedom of speech" got misconstrued into "freedom of expression"? Where did that term come from, the same place as "underprivileged"?

Re:Apples and Oranges (1)

eaolson (153849) | about 12 years ago | (#4171104)

Second of all, it's ridiculous to consider phyical actions as speech.

Perhaps you've heard of sign language?

Revoking people's right to complain? (2)

kcb93x (562075) | about 12 years ago | (#4170977)

I for one don't think we should lose our rights at all, because without them, we just become like China, where you can't speak out against the government, you'll be locked up/shot/enslaved etc. Here's an example: When there's a structure set up, such as that of the US Military, and the command officers make all the decisions...they may not be making the right ones, and a private or a lieutenant might see a solution to the problem. Now, say for example, the 4-Star General in charge doesn't want to look bad to his superiors, for showing a weakness, or inability to see something. So he sets in motion a rule that anyone who countermands his orders, or mentions another way of doing what he's doing, or what he is doing wrong, they'll be court-marshalled. So, we'll pretend the General is sending troops into an area, and the patrols keep getting killed because they can't shoot first, they must be fired upon first. Private Jon Doe, realizes where the ambushes keep happening, and tries to speak up, to prevent more losses. But, the General doesn't want to look bad, so therefore Private Jon Doe is court-marshalled. Troops continue to die off, and everyone else under the General learn not to speak up, even when they see something wrong. Now, tell me, is this something you'd like to see happen every time somebody gets pissed at the good 'ole US of A, and decides to shoot or blow something up? I know I don't.

Who's okay with it? (1)

Reverend Beaker (590517) | about 12 years ago | (#4170984)

Seven in 10 respondents agreed newspapers should publish freely, a slight drop from 2001. Those less likely to support newspaper rights included people without a college education, Republicans, and evangelicals, the survey found. That paragraph just about says it all, doesn't it?

give away my rights? (1)

garcia (6573) | about 12 years ago | (#4170986)

oh fucking bullshit. There has been more and more media bullshit since 9/11 about this. I don't know who the fuck they are interviewing but at quick survey of people that are nearby here (two neighbors, my girlfriend, my roommate, and two more friends) which is 7 people including me shows that 0 of 7 want to give up ANY freedom b/c of the tradgedys.

Other than the links I send to my roommate and my gf (usually not privacy related) no one surveyed was a /. reader nor are they gung-ho anti-big-brother individuals.

So, I want to meet the morons these people talked to in order to get the bullshit idea that people are more willing to give up their rights.

I guarantee if I called my parents (both over 50) and asked them they would tell me HELL NO. If I called my grandmother (already pissed off that she had to be patted down in a wheelchair) she would say HELL NO.

Fuck these media morons.


Re:give away my rights? (1)

SquirrelCrack (522382) | about 12 years ago | (#4171065)

It's pretty easy to forget that your family and friends may not be representative of the country as a whole. How many folks in your sample are republicans, how many are evangelical, and how many of them don't have a college education? There are a shit load of ignorant, flag waving pissants in this country... I should know, I live in Texas :)

Its the turning point (2, Insightful)

tanveer1979 (530624) | about 12 years ago | (#4170991)

Every civilization, has a turning point. America is no different. Going by cultures it is very new, just about 250 years old.
The past events were a turning point just like WW2 was. So these insecurities and talk about changing rights and all is a phase.
Slowly things will go to optimum levels. We humans are not digital circuit, it takes time.
Many feel that ciivil liberties are being jepordized and many feel that the laws allow too much. To be honest the laws allow a bit too much. So now swing will be the other way, no more privacy, big brother watching and all that, and then the pendulum will start swinging the other way again.
Actually the civillizations which reduce the amplitude of swinging pendulum survive longest, others wither away or are replaced by something else.
Currently everybody is at crossroads, unsure... they had the first amendment, freedoms etc., and the tragedies happened, no all these will be curbed to some extent. In fact it is very necessary to change things from within. Someday america will find the in between point, but then transition is always painful isnt it.

Re:Its the turning point (1)

armchairlinguist (580975) | about 12 years ago | (#4171100)

To be honest the laws allow a bit too much.

To be honest? Don't you mean "To be honest, I think the laws allow a bit too much"?

Ebb and Flow (1)

Telastyn (206146) | about 12 years ago | (#4170992)

Isn't this not terribly suprising? These things move in cycles, as people want to get more freedom, and then more control and vice versa.

anti-liquor moved to the free WWII moved to McCarthyism moved into the equal rights movement. America has enjoyed the boon of freedoms in the 90's and is now moving towards a less free time. Once that gets too opressive, it'll move back to freedom.

Re:Ebb and Flow (1)

FortKnox (169099) | about 12 years ago | (#4171063)

I entirely agree.

The fact that we have these 'ups' and 'downs' is proof that the system works.
9/11 boosted the security/oppression to rise, and the freedom to fall. Give it a few years and it will reverse.
What we should not do is put on our tinfoil hats and rushing to DC with machine guns. Wait a little bit for everything to flip. Do you think your average joe will sit and let the government take everything?

Thankfully, this is no democracy (3, Interesting)

dada21 (163177) | about 12 years ago | (#4170993)

Thank the founders that this country is not a democracy, but a Constitional Republic. Of course, the liberals and conservatives of this country like to forget that.

Our Constitution was set forth in order to protect our God given rights from destruction by an insane majority. As you can now see, the insane majority is here.

I will only vote for those who push legislation for smaller government. In Illinois, we will have libertarians on almost every ballot position, and that's how I will make my statement.

Of course, if we do find more infrindgements on our liberties, I will be one of the first to move to Costa Rica, or another country where their freedoms are GROWING, and because those countries aren't fighting "wars on everything," the standard of living is just as high as it is here (for entrepreneurs), but the tax burden and liberty loss is less.

Don't accept this mess. Vote to end government/business orgies and socialist schemes -- VOTE LIBERTARIAN [] .

Re:Thankfully, this is no democracy (1)

waspleg (316038) | about 12 years ago | (#4171049)

if only i had a fist full of mod points for you ;)

I am Jack's complete lack of surprise (3, Funny)

Aexia (517457) | about 12 years ago | (#4171000)

Seven in 10 respondents agreed newspapers should publish freely, a slight drop from 2001. Those less likely to support newspaper rights included people without a college education, Republicans, and evangelicals, the survey found.

They needed a survey to find this out?

Many People are.... (1)

fluppy88 (473039) | about 12 years ago | (#4171001)

"Also many people believe the media shouldn't be allowed to question the government in times of war..."

This solidifies one of my beliefs: many people are stupid.

Aren't you convinced by the survey? (2)

3seas (184403) | about 12 years ago | (#4171007)

It's bull shit.....

Tell people others want something and maybe you can convince them.

It's called marketing.

Now who woud be promoting such a thing? Lil' Hitler Bush and company?

Nice to know (2)

WildBeast (189336) | about 12 years ago | (#4171008)

I guess its nice to know that so many people are idiots.

Remember what Hitler said "If you give them victory, they won't question your honesty".

The fact that the US media have such a huge impact will prevent the government from doing crazy things.

oof.. propaganda? (2)

Sebastopol (189276) | about 12 years ago | (#4171019)

Here are the statistical qualifications of the study:

1000 people surveyed, +/- 3 percentage points.

Who exactly did they ask? If they asked 1000 people in San Fransisco, they would get a much different answer than if they asked 1000 people in Birmingham, Alabama.

Propaganda alert??? If I were a left-winger, I would question Uconn about the study, and I would suspect the hand of Ashcroft and the GOP sympathizers (er, Snowball) behind it.

But I then again, I AM somewhat of a conspiracy theorist.

Re:oof.. propaganda? (2)

Sebastopol (189276) | about 12 years ago | (#4171071)

More info on the founder of the Freedom Foundation ... seems clean ...

Allen Neuharth []

He ran "USA Today" and Gannet (bilboard/advertising company). So he is a media mogul, but is he a low-fat, hi-fiber mogul?

Giving up freedom in the name of security (0)

as400as2 (560825) | about 12 years ago | (#4171026)

"They that can give up liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin. That pretty much sums it up. My 2 cents as well as one of our country's (USA) founding fathers.

Censor This Article! (0)

jmoriarty (179788) | about 12 years ago | (#4171032)

Posting articles like this on Slashdot only serves to further strengthen the momentum of people who want to limit our First Amendment rights! Those rights should not be restricted, as they are a cornerstone of what makes this country great!

We need to prevent articles like this from ever seeing the light of day! Only through a proper restriction of free speech can we ensure that free speech is not restricted.

... yes, I'm joking. This whole topic just makes my head hurt. If no one has whipped out the obligatory Ben Franklin quotation yet, let me:

"They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security."

This is a bad thing (0)

ACNeal (595975) | about 12 years ago | (#4171046)

don't get me wrong. I understand the gravity of the situation, when a question is posed "Do you think we should give up freedom a in order to protect ourselves?"

The problem I have is the seperation of church and state has gone to far. There is no reason they (churches) shouldn't pay sales tax, property tax, and income tax (on monies other than donations, and "requiring" a "donation" to partake in a fundraiser isn't really a donation, is it). Removing the Tax Exempt status of churches doesn't have an effect of the state crippling the church or supporting one religion over the other.

And NO WHERE in the constitution does it even imply that they should be granted some sort of EXTRA legal protection from being monitored. They don't have the right not to be monitored. The IRS frequently monitors them, to make sure they don't cross for profit lines.

If the question was "Do you think we should take away churches rights not to be monitored, as per the first ammendmant, in order to protect our national security?", then I have no feeling on the subject. It would be the same as asking "Do you think we should take away cowboyNeal's right to sell drugs to school children dressed as a nun in order to protect national security?", or "How many more apples do I need to add to this basket to get a bushel of oranges."

Living in 1984 (1)

LaserBeams (412546) | about 12 years ago | (#4171056)

"One has to wonder if anyone cares about their constitutional rights any more, or if everyone would be happier living in 1984."

To your Average Joe, living in "1984" wouldn't feel that much different. Unfortunately for the minority who believe in strong first amendment rights (including me), Average Joes make up the majority of the voting population. With increasing government and corporate pressure to give up our first amendment rights, and the average people just running with the crowd, there won't be much resistance to change.

It's like trying to stop a water main with plastic wrap. There's a barrier with 100% coverage, but it's really thin, and in the end, it won't slow the water at all.

Obviously, this means trouble.

Original intent (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4171057)

When the bill of rights was drawn up, it was in the context of a people who had experienced suppression of political speech, where some anti-government speech was considered treasonous and punishable as such.

It was the intent of the founding fathers to protect legitimate political discourse. It was not their intent to protect child pornography, "performance art" and other nonsense. At present the first amendment has been stretched far beyond its original intent. It is time to restore the original purpose of the first amendment. The nonsensical interpretations of it must be laid to rest and we must get back on the original path which the framers intended.

Good margin (2)

bubblegoose (473320) | about 12 years ago | (#4171058)

Thank God, or whatever CONSTITIONAL PROTECTED diety (or not)that you choose to worship that only 49% think it goes too far.

That's is still a wide margin from the 2/3's of both Houses and 3/4 of the states needed to make an amendment.

We could use this study to reduce our reliance on foreign oil (and the Saudi's) by using the spinning of the Founding Fathers in their graves to generate electricity.

Look Out! Troll attack! Run for yer life! (0)

HardwareLust (454846) | about 12 years ago | (#4171067)

This story in the paper is nothing but a troll. This particular posting is nothing but a giant, smelly TROLL. AAAAHHH! RUN! the last thing we need around here is MORE F*CKING TROLLS. Please stop before you start yet another goddamned argument about how much freedom we must trade for security. Sheesh. We've has this same discussion over and over and over again since the 11th of September last year. We don't agree. Get over it. You will not convince me that you are right because you just aren't that smart OR persuasive . I will certainly not convince you that I am right, because I'm not any smarter or persuasive than you are. So, let's agree to SHUT THE F*CK UP for once in our miserable lives about this particular topic and go get a beer and shoot some pool or something. Because this argument is COMPLETELY F*CKING POINTLESS!!!!!!!!!!!

The Sacramento Bee (an extremely lame newspaper to begin with, imho) is notorious for running crap like this to stir up the readers.

Look, it even got *me* to post, and I never post anything anymore! Check my sig for thoughts on people who post here.

Well, I guess that's how Fascism takes root.... (5, Insightful)

vkg (158234) | about 12 years ago | (#4171070)

First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out - Because I was not a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out - Because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out - Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me - and there was no one left to speak for me.

- Martin Niemöller

Let me say this clearly: Bush sucks. He's a dangerous, arrogant man who's brother stole the election for him, and who's flushing our democracy down the toilet as fast as we will let him.

Unanswered Questions about 9/11 []

With apologies to Jello Biafra... (5, Insightful)

Tackhead (54550) | about 12 years ago | (#4171073)

(With apologies to Jello Biafra [] 's 1990 spoken word piece)

We interupt your surfing session with a special bulletin:

The Internet is now under martial law. All constitutional rights have been suspended. Stay in your homes! Do not attempt to contact loved ones, science fiction authors, or software developers.


Do not attempt to think, or depresion may occur. Stay in your homes. Curfew is at 7 pm sharp after work. Anyone transferring content on ports other than those allowed by their subdivision router - will - be - shot.

(Remain calm.)

Do not panic. Your neighborhood Digital Rights Inspector will be around to collect access logs in the morning. Anyone caught interfering with the collection of access logs - will - be - shot.

Stay in your homes! Remain calm! The number one enemy of progress is questions! The security of Hollywood's business model is more important that individual will!

(All sports broadcasts will proceed as normal.)

No more than two people may discuss programming techniques without permission! Write only the code prescribed by your boss or supervisor!

Obey all orders without question!

The comfort you've demanded is now mandatory!


At last, everything is done for you...

Only HALF of my fellow Americans are idiots?? (1)

plasticquart (75467) | about 12 years ago | (#4171074)

If I'm surprised about anything with this study is that only half of the respondents believe our right to speak freely is too broad.

How does that Benjamin Franklin quote go?

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."


And for those of you who have never heard of The Freedom Forum [] , please take a moment and take a look around. This foundation is certainly a group of good folk doing good work.

Custom Computer Systems for Discerning Tastes []

No Answers, No Questions, Certain Victory! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4171075)

Rather than restricting citizen's rights to ask questions, it's much better to choke off the seditious answers. With so many negative stories, [] , dangerous voices of dissent [] and defeatist rumourmongers [] creeping around the dangerous and unregulated Internet, it's high time we had a clampdown on traitors!

Will they.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4171076)

..monitor the Christian and Catholic churches as well?

You know, the ones that have been responsible for more unjustified death over the years than the Roman Empire, Hitler, Stalin, Israel, Palestine and our favorite cave-dwelling morons put together?

Okay, okay, that was a cheap shot, especially since no one sees the pope running around shouting for holy wars and crusades these days.

But maybe they should still be monitored. After all, they're sucessfully preventing the advance of science. (Waaah, cloning/genetic engineering/abortion/cold fusion/latest buzzword is wrong! Let's bribe our senators!)

Oh, wait, that's right - science will progress despite what these god-fearing fools try to do about it.

Nevermind. Viva la first admendment!

Freedom and the USA (3, Insightful)

pubjames (468013) | about 12 years ago | (#4171077)

A question. Why is it that there seem to be many Americans that believe that the USA invented the concepts of democracy, freedom and liberty? The issue comes up time and time again. Is it something that is taught in schools in the USA?

It is suprising (not to say a little annoying) for many outside the US to hear this opinion expressed repeatedly by Americans. Democracy, feedom and liberty are ideas have been around since the Greeks, and probably before. There have been democratic governments in parts of Europe for over 800 years.

So can we please drop this idea that America invented freedom? It's just a tad irritating.

Is it just me? (0)

stratjakt (596332) | about 12 years ago | (#4171078)

or is anyone else sick of special interest groups spouting their opinions as though it was factual 'news'? (slashdot included)

to quote the article..

nearly half of Americans now think the constitutional amendment on free speech goes too far in the rights it guarantees, says a poll released Thursday

A poll? Who conducted the poll? Released by who? Half of Americans? That implies they asked every american, and noone asked ME.

And I would doubt, no matter what specially targetted demographic they polled, the question wasnt 'Do you think we should give up our first amendment rights for the war on terror?'

probably closer to 'Do you think its fair that filthy islamic scumbags like Usama Bin Laden should have the same speech priveledges as you?'

But of course, checking the local mosques to see if they're planning anything is 'giving up our freedoms for a false sense of security'. Pure bullshit.

As though there was no room for compromise.

I tire of reading this crap. Post another 23 year old book review, or link to the latest processor to be 1% faster than the one it replaced.

News for nerds? Stuff that matters?

Shorten that to "Nerds.. Stuff"

Theres no news here and nothing posted matters.

Get Out (1)

Fascist Christ (586624) | about 12 years ago | (#4171080)

If you don't want freedom, get out of the country. Don't ruin it for the rest of us.

This country was built on one funadamental philosophy: a weak central government. As the tenth amendment says, the federal government has only the powers that are granted to it by the constitution.

The constitution freed us from tyrranny. If we let 9-11 scare us into destroying what this country was based on, then the terrorists won. They are not free. We are free, and that is essentially why the hate us.

America, think before you act! (1)

gimpboyproductions (598063) | about 12 years ago | (#4171081)

These statistics just prove to me that people these days are very ignorant of their rights. They are willing to throw away something and the moment they do they will realize what they've done and then want to retract it but won't be able to.

(Slashcode) (2)

Scoria (264473) | about 12 years ago | (#4171085)

Individual opinions are ultimately innocuous when you're incapable of expressing and propagating them.

Who's on First? (2)

hondo77 (324058) | about 12 years ago | (#4171087)

I wonder what people who think the First Amendment should be chipped away at would think if the discussion was, instead, about the Second Amendment. My guess is that they would suddenly become great defenders of their constitutional rights and go on about how it keeps the government in check...

Simple solution. (2)

e_n_d_o (150968) | about 12 years ago | (#4171089)

If you don't want your first ammendment right, then, for goodness sake, shut up!

Media (2)

slow_flight (518010) | about 12 years ago | (#4171090)

Yes, the media should be allowed to question the gov't., but within certain boundaries What they should NOT be doing is pandering to the pinheads in the Congress to gain access to leaked (potentially secret) documents in order to scoop the competition/gain ratings. IOW, they should NOT be pushing their own liberal based, appeasement slanted, self-serving agenda at the potential cost of human lives.

1984? More of a Brave New World (4, Interesting)

kafka93 (243640) | about 12 years ago | (#4171097)

The Orwellian reference is most often quoted, but the society in which we increasingly find ourselves bears more similarities with Huxley's work than that of the overrated hack. Our freedoms are not corroded because of fear of any particular oppression, but rather because it's generally more comfortable, more stupefying, to give those freedoms away. People *will* trade their freedom for security - hell, people will trade their freedom for pretty much anything that makes their lives a little easier in the short term, and that allows them to think a little less, to make a little less effort.

In a society where creature comforts are increasingly easy to come by for the average man, there's an increasing willingness/tendency to sacrifice - or ignore - everybody else. So a few of those funny towel-heads get harassed - what of it? So a few lazy bums are on the streets - not my problem. So long as I get my multiple television channels, eh?

Most people just don't care all that much about their freedom - they view 'freedom' as the right to watch tv, drink a beer, see a football game. Even on Slashdot, there are always people who are happy to espouse the free software alternative right up to the point at which they want to play a Windows-only, proprietary computer game. Is it really surprising that most of us don't know what our rights are? We don't need or want to know - and such rights are threatening, particularly in the hands of _other people_.

Just a quick rant.

religious groups (4, Insightful)

medcalf (68293) | about 12 years ago | (#4171102)

I have no problem with the government monitoring religious groups, so long as they do it on the same basis that they would monitor any other organization. That is, it must be done based on a warrant, must be reasonable, and must not target groups solely on the basis of their religion. For example, if a judge agrees that sufficient evidence exists of possible meetings by a terrorist cell at a mosque; and if the monitoring involves only the suspected people, rather than the population of the mosque at large; and if it is a specific group at a specific mosque that is being watched (rather than any gathering of young men at any mosque); then I am OK with it. Now, if the same evidence were presented for a synagogue or a temple or a Baptist church, I'd be similarly OK with it. On the other hand, if there was no judge's warrant (or if false information were presented to the judge to obtain the warrant), or if the monitoring was of everyone (or most people) at a certain mosque, or if the monitoring covered several mosques as a linked investigation, without evidence that there was a link other than that they were all mosques, then this would be very, very dangerous.
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