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The right to free speech? — 24 Comments

  1. Jesus that is awful, its like do you remember a couple of years ago when that Russian submarine Kursk sank with all the crew aboard. The bastards left the lads to die, then at a press conference the mother of one of the crew still trapped inside was giving out hell and the police reprimanded her and injected her with a sedative. The similarities are shocking, democracy my arse.

  2. You can have free speech but at a price.

    I can’t help but watch with interest how the self titled land of the free is becoming less so each week. Not to mention that the people living there are quite happy to allow it to become so.

  3. The people of America don’t seem to realise how much they have allowed Bush to take over their lives. All this crap about Homeland Security is little more than giving the police and government free reign and absolute power.

    I read a paper by an eminent American professor who pointed out that Bush was ticking all the boxes for a totalitarian state in the very near future.

    The bloke in the video is asking legitimate questions, but he was questioning the validity of the presidency and gets dragged off. If I were over there, I would be VERY worried.

  4. The Bush administration also have a private army in the form of Blackwater. I’m reading a biography on them at the moment and it is fascinating. But at the risk of invoking Godwins law, a certain European country in the 1930’s seemed to follow the exact same lines. And of course the Roman Empire had their Praetorian Guard.

    Not long left now for Dubya to find a way to get himself elected for a third term.

  5. I didn’t want to mention the 30’s but there are similarities. Whip the people up into a frenzy over a ‘common enemy’ and use that mass hysteria to introduce draconian powers. If you object, then you have to be one of the ‘common enemy’?

  6. It’s very reminiscent. It seems that things like this go in cycles. Like everyone getting their turn at being Emperor.

    America at the moment, The British Empire, The French under Napolean before that. What they all have in common is that they all collapsed as a result of war. But of course those wars weren’t just confined to the warring nations.

    The one thing history does teach us is that Empires always collapse. But there will always pretenders to the throne. In the end no matter who is involved we all will suffer in one way or another.

  7. The “War on Terror” always seemed resonant of the constant war that was cited in Orwell’s ‘1984’ as the reason for the measures necessary, ill-defined and amenable to whatever definition one wished to impose. It was interesting to read Greenspan in Saturday’s FT saying the war in Iraq was simply about securing oil supplies.

    The future lies in the East. The US economy is in hock to Japan and China, the US population is an insignificant market compared to the Asian billions, and the dollar is at record lows against the Euro. Bush has become like the Soviets in the 1980s, leaving the poor in his country miserable in order to fund military ventures that are ultimately futile. (The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan was the beginning of the end of Communism)

  8. The “War on Terror” was beautifully ill defined. The words that scared me most at the time were “If you are not with us, then you are supporting them”. This terrorised (sic) the population into following the “war”. Yet the enemy was never defined [and don’t give me that Al Qaida rubbish]. An actual war was started [for oil] but the main objective was to provide the appearance of a strong leadership against a non-existent enemy.

    This allowed Bush to push through whatever laws he liked and to impose whatever controls he liked on the U.S. population. It gave him unlimited funds, and virtually unlimited power.

    My theory, for whatever it’s worth.

  9. I saw this yesterday. Universities are supposed to be the hotbed of contention and discussion and whether he’s a ratbag activist or not a taser was totally unnecessary. What floored me was the fact that nobody seemed to mind what was going on . . . not one person came to his aid. So much for land of the free!

    And Ian, you are right. Even the price of oil here is set by the Singaporean market, not the US, our largest trading partners are Japan and China and we are well and truly now an Asian nation. The sooner people realise that the US is in economic decline and that the rest of the world need not react to it’s volatile equity markets the better.

    As for that supreme idiot who thinks he’s God’s gift to nationhood . . .the one who started the whole coalition of the willing . . .don’t get me started.

  10. Aye Matey, I be terrified alstarboard. We ortin’ ta make that bloody Bush keel haul th’ plank, I say! 🙂

    Today is international “Talk like a Pirate Day”, can you tell?

    There’s two ways to keep people(i.e. peasants) under control. Demoralisation and Fear are the key components in war on Freedom of Thought and Speech!!!

    It’s a sad state of affairs, Grandad.

  11. Lunacy is the current currency of the USA.

    Blog personas aside, it is sad but safe to say that ‘America’ as many of us once experienced it [and millions more have envisioned it] has passed, never to return.

    It can be authoritatively argued that America “jumped the shark” with the first Kennedy assassination and cemented its days of the future past when Bobby was subsequently slain: our republic was shattered and even upkeep of the image of ‘democracy’ was found to be too expensive to maintain, much less discover and explain the truth to its citizens – far easier to bludgeon activists in Chicago, give live ammo to part-time troops at Kent State or to stand back and allow portions of whole cities to torch their own lives and futures. Far easier to scheme and plot like lower form Machiavelli’s, and to then creep respected physicians office for unsavory documents that might or might not exist in a Faustian attempt at holding on to power, not in the name of the Presidency, mind, or even the Republic, but in a paranoid and vainglorious attempt at assuaging a wounded ego.

    America as a ‘democracy’ was a lame and halt beast after that, waiting for its next master to heal it. Gerald Ford tried and to some degree succeeded; Jimmy Carter also tried abut was pushed off as a bit player in his own life: the next 3 Presidents were either so addled, incompetent, corrupt or inattentive that when Shrub backed into office in 2000 the table was set for massive undermining of our entire society.

    Massive international corporations wanted payback for campaign contributions; the Seven Sisters wanted to be assured that THEY, and only THEY, would be allowed to drive the world to perdition; many of the members of the US Congress only wanted sex (Republicans) or money (Democrats).

    No one cared about ‘democracy’ anymore except as a monkeys’ paw.

    Grandad is right to be afraid. He’s also right to warn the poor dozing majority of Americans that the blind date they let into their homes has slipped a ‘roofie’ into their drink and is patiently waiting for them to relax, everything will be fine…

    There is no hyperbole involved in saying that if it did not mean that Dick “I Shoot ALL My Friends in the Faceâ€? Cheney would become the next sitting President, the US Congress would have impeached Current Occupant long ago and banished Karl Rove to whatever forgotten bog spawned him?

    It is not to wish anyone on this earth ill but don’t you think than mankind as a species might have better survival odds had not the inventor of the artificial heart invented sweet and sour mustard instead?

    It is not to infer any crime but is it a wonder in the current climate that the overweening proportion of posts to this post are from Ireland and NOT America? Does NSA really mean No Such Agency or No Such Person?

    Grandad is simply wondering about the world’s future: it is public knowledge that Current Occupant has quietly signed a number of Executive Orders that, in effect, would give him sole and absolute Emporers’ powers should he decide to invoke them. I could, and will in my own space, go on at length about Grandad’s foreboding – do not take him lightly: even elderly, blind and rude old folk are capable of stumbling across obvious truths.

    In fact, they’re more likely than the rest to utter what they see.

    I’m proud of you, son.

  12. Ian is spot on with the Orwellian slant: Why hasn’t Osama bin Laden been captured yet? Because GW wants him free, alive and active. Without a figurehead the ‘enemy’ doesn’t seem real or threatening. That’s why they also pulled back from the gates of Sadam’s palace during the Kuwaiti conflict – they needed a face to put on the ‘enemy’.

  13. You all are a bunch of right proper whining cunts!
    Yes, Helen, I said it out loud.
    Nobody here except for Robert bothered to find anything about the kid who overstayed his time at the microphone and refused to leave or be quiet. He was in fact disrupting the indoctrination / discusson that comrade Kerry was having with the students. Everyone including the President of the University have said the actions of the police were excessive. Everyone except comrade Kerry.
    So please continue telling yourself that President Bush and his administration are sooooo bad. I’m sure you shall just love the next regime to be put in place here. Why, we will have Socialist medicine and even more intrusive laws telling us what to do and when to do it. Oh, yea, and of course as our taxes will skyrocket….that’ll be OK because it’s not our money it’s everybodies money.
    So you think my president, George W. Bush is suppose to be such a bad guy for trying to help the world rid itself of extremeism. Well, just wait until the Demoncrats get in they will allow loons to run amuck whereever they please all the while moving us closer and closer to a completely authoratarian state.
    Mark my words!
    I’m proud of the fact I voted for Mr. Bush, twice and I’m proud to say I NEVER voted for the clintonistas, EVER!!!
    Please keep parroting what you hear on ABCNBCCBSCNNSKYMSNBCBBC and don’t bother digging for the truth the demoncrats will love you for it.

  14. Wonderful conversational gambit, Brian.

    You do, however, seem a bit off your meds: have another vicodin and ditto on back to Rush’s place and double-check todays’ talking points…we can wait.

    When you come back we will taser your ass: we will agree afterward that it was, perhaps, an excessive action to take but necessary, what with all your LOUD TYPING and disruptive use of exclamation marks!!! wjen other folks were having some quite discourse…

  15. Maybe the reason that the Irish are being so outspoken here is that we can see the situation [relatively] dispassionately. We see the situation for what it is, and not what the American administration wants us to see.

    America [and by that, I mean the administration, not the people] has lost all credibility in the world. It holds its head up as the leaders of freedom and democracy. It condemns harsh regimes and dictatorships. It shouts about human rights.

    Yet we see self evident contradictions to this every day.
    The American media is heavily biassed, if not actually censored. Post 2001, the public were whipped up into a state of near hysteria, where they were prepared to accept virtually anything. Laws were passed which effectively leading America towards a totalitarian state.

    Of course, it is all done in the name of “Freedom”.

    As has been pointed out above, there are many lessons from history that give us non-Americans grave cause for concern.

    Here we have a man who is elected under dubious circumstances. He starts a war on a country for no reason whatsoever, other than he claims it is a “brutal regime”. There is no evidence of links with the attacks of 2001. There is no evidence of links with Al Qaida. Why did he start the war?

    Zimbabwe is in a state of crisis at the moment. Robert Mugabe is a dictator who is starving his people and murdering any opposition. The American response to this? “We do not interfere in internal matters“. Not that I would want the U.S. to have anything to do with it. It is none of their business. Just as the situation in the rest of the world is none of their business.

    America is the self appointed guardian of freedom in the world. The administration even goes so far as to refer to the president as “the leader of the free world”. As a citizen of Ireland and Europe, I think I have more liberty that any American. My phones are not tapped nor my e-mails read in the name of “Homeland Security”. I can speak my mind without being tazored. I can move freely throughout Europe without disclosing personal details, other than those that are on my passport. My elections are open and undisputed [even if I don’t like the outcome]. If there is a whiff of corruption, then the accused are held accountable.

    Doc has eloquently given a closer viewpoint than I can. Thank you for that, Doc.

    I see very few comments above that go in any way to ease my disquiet.

  16. Doc,
    That is just the response I would expect from our close minded left wing. You and most of the demoncrats today can’t have an intelligent conversation with someone who disagrees with you. Typical!

  17. Brianf – Stop labelling people as “left wing”, “right wing”, “Republican” or “Democrat”. Labelling is the tool of the brainwasher [“you are either one of us, or you’re one of them”] and a sign of the brainwashed.

    Look at the facts and forget preconceived notions based on labels.

  18. Brian,

    It is not foreign pinkoes that are bankrupting your country, it’s the disastrous policies of the Bush Government. 44%of US debt is now in foreign hands, Japan and China holding over $1 trillion between them.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_public_debt#Structure_of_the_debt

    Nor is it pinkoes who will bring about the eclipse of the US as a major economic power, it is the rampant free market capitalism of China and India.

    America now is where Britain was in the late 1940s, militarily still a global power, but economically bankrupt.

  19. Grandad,

    Why did my last post come up with Brianf as its name?

    [No idea! You must have entered his name instead of yours. I fixed it anyway. GD]

  20. I think america is truley F**KED!! I believe in MY OWN OPINOUN that the democrates set up the terrorism of the world trade centre its just not right. I know for a fact that explosions were set of in the building once the planes had hit and THATS y the bloody building calapsed. im bloody greatful that i dont live in america i dont want to be killed by my own government, thats for sure!!!!!!

  21. Niicole – I have read all the conspiracy theories, and have seen the film of puffs of smoke appearing at the base of the towers just before they collapsed.

    Whatever the cause of the collapse, it came at a very convenient time for Bush.

  22. Well, I wanted to chip in my two cents from the American perspective:

    It is scary. It is all scary. To someone that knows how to read the signs, there is definitely a feeling of foreboding over the entire country. Brainwashing is at its worst – I experienced it on an island called Guam; ostensibly, it is “Where America’s Day Begins.” In truth, it is a bastion of the American military; the locals faced cultural genocide at the hands of the Americans for the past century, yet to this very day they celebrate their “liberation” from Japan. The Liberation Day parade’s theme was “Celebrating Freedom.” It was really horrible to watch.

    I left the States because I saw no good there. I remember my freshman year of college, standing in a common area watching the “War on Terror” begin – ironically, I was terrified. I happen to be from the Midwest, the most narrow-minded region of America – tellingly, the KKK makes its headquarters there. You’d better believe that, in the Midwest, these are people that aren’t just brainwashed, they truly believe in the rhetoric.

    I’m now in Japan and, as I watch that video of the kid (jackass) getting tasered, I can only think that I’m seeing the fruit of the Patriot Act: the death of the Bill of Rights.
    I know that there are rules for symposia, &c., and people have made the point that the kid was a jerk – but to watch police go from passive and arms-crossed to grabbing someone? There was no warning. The kid was absolutely right to shout, “Why are you doing this? What have I done?”

    It was a lame line to put in a movie, but Luke Skywalker’s mom made a good point when she said, “So this is how liberty dies – to thunderous applause.”

    I can’t wait to move to Wales and renounce my American citizenship.

  23. A thing I notice about speeches in America is the very high use of words like “freedom”, “democracy”, “god”, “patriotism” and of course “terror”. These words are now creeping into the everyday language which is a sure sign that the brainwashing is working.

    The apparent apathy of the crowd in the video scared me. In my student days [back in the 70’s] there would have been a riot! There would have been calls of Police Brutality, and Bullyboy Tactics, followed by protests in the streets.

    The tacit acceptance of the police action was frightening. Here is a nation that is now afraid to speak out for fear [yes – fear] of being labelled “unpatriotic”. Shades of Germany in the 30’s?

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