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The 7 - Current Events & Politics - You are being watched! A dark day for libraries and liberty. Register and log in to post!
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Stilton
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#1 Posted on 19.12.05 1051.46
Reposted on: 19.12.12 1053.21
Stuff like this scares the hell out of me. It's just a little too Orwellian. (southcoasttoday.com)

It seems a student at U-Mass requested a book written by Mao for a research paper he was writing for a class he was taking on Totalitarianism, and then, in a hideous twist of irony, the young chap gets visited by a couple of agents from the Department of Homeland Security because the book he wanted to read was on a "watch list".

Here an excerpt from the article:

"NEW BEDFORD -- A senior at UMass Dartmouth was visited by federal agents two months ago, after he requested a copy of Mao Tse-Tung's tome on Communism called "The Little Red Book."
"Two history professors at UMass Dartmouth, Brian Glyn Williams and Robert Pontbriand, said the student told them he requested the book through the UMass Dartmouth library's interlibrary loan program.
"The student, who was completing a research paper on Communism for Professor Pontbriand's class on fascism and totalitarianism, filled out a form for the request, leaving his name, address, phone number and Social Security number. He was later visited at his parents' home in New Bedford by two agents of the Department of Homeland Security, the professors said.
"The professors said the student was told by the agents that the book is on a "watch list," and that his background, which included significant time abroad, triggered them to investigate the student further.
"I tell my students to go to the direct source, and so he asked for the official Peking version of the book," Professor Pontbriand said. "Apparently, the Department of Homeland Security is monitoring inter-library loans, because that's what triggered the visit, as I understand it."
Although The Standard-Times knows the name of the student, he is not coming forward because he fears repercussions should his name become public. He has not spoken to The Standard-Times.
"The professors had been asked to comment on a report that President Bush had authorized the National Security Agency to spy on as many as 500 people at any given time since 2002 in this country.
"The eavesdropping was apparently done without warrants."

All I can think of is Holy Shit! This is paranoia and anti-intellectualism run amok!

Here are some words of wisdom from Benjamin Franklin: "Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety"
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AWArulz
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#2 Posted on 19.12.05 1436.40
Reposted on: 19.12.12 1437.12
Here are some words from that Dumb-ass professor"

"Mao Tse-Tung is completely harmless."

Yeah, I am thinking the families of the millions he murdered are probably not down with this.

Look, IF this is true, (and I have no reason to doubt it, although both Brian Glyn Williams and Robert Pontbriand are on MY watch list [northeast schools, history professors]), then it's still part of the duty of our law enforcers to check out oddities. I agree - Mao's little Red Book - probably should be low on the list. It MIGHT be that the kid was on the hot seat for one thing or another that they COULDN'T visit him for, but since this is covered by the Patriot Act, they took the opportunity to check him out close up.

You gotta figure everyone in William's many classes on Islamic history and terrorism research is being checked out, especially if they have been over visiting in Pakistan or something.

Losing a little during wartime isn't the end of the world. My Dad lost his NAME for goodness sake during world War II - he came in to the Nave as J L Taylor, Junior (that is what is on his birth certificate), but when he emrged from the Navy in '46, his legal name was James Lemuel Taylor, Junior. We used to know how to sacrifice for the common good - but no more.
Jaguar
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#3 Posted on 19.12.05 1450.22
Reposted on: 19.12.12 1452.36
On sacrifice:

1) Giving up something is very different than having it taken away.


2) As long as Vietnam and Nixon remain within the nation's consciousness, personal sacrifice when asked for by the government is always going to be a hard sell.
spf
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#4 Posted on 19.12.05 1451.39
Reposted on: 19.12.12 1454.18
    Originally posted by AWArulz
    Losing a little during wartime isn't the end of the world. My Dad lost his NAME for goodness sake during world War II - he came in to the Nave as J L Taylor, Junior (that is what is on his birth certificate), but when he emrged from the Navy in '46, his legal name was James Lemuel Taylor, Junior. We used to know how to sacrifice for the common good - but no more.

Here's my problem with that. I am not as zealous as some folks. I am willing to consider that there may be temporary things that occur I am not happy with. However, I do not in any way trust the people currently in charge to be playing fast and loose with civil liberties. I don't feel as though it is likely they will be making these decisions for the good of the country as much as they will be to deal with their own agendas. I have no trouble seeing these cracks being used for other purposes than national defense. And really, it sure does seem like every few weeks something comes out about the Bush Administration having issues being forward with us.

And if anyone's going to be checked out for dealing with Maoists, shouldn't it be the mega-billion corporations that have no trouble doing business with a repressive, murderous, dangerous regime of dictatorial quasi-Communists? I want someone checking the library books of a couple of CEO's. They seem a bit more willing to overlook things than some college kid.
AWArulz
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#5 Posted on 20.12.05 0734.28
Reposted on: 20.12.12 0740.14
    Originally posted by spf
    I want someone checking the library books of a couple of CEO's. They seem a bit more willing to overlook things than some college kid.


Hey look, I kind of agree that if this happened, it's probably over the top. But I point out that it wasn't CEOs who took over some planes and who are blowing up bombs and killing children today. It is, predominantly, young men, and in many cases, students at university. I think it might be very interesting to know more about the "student" who was questioned in the case cited.
DrDirt
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#6 Posted on 20.12.05 0849.16
Reposted on: 20.12.12 0851.26
    Originally posted by AWArulz
      Originally posted by spf
      I want someone checking the library books of a couple of CEO's. They seem a bit more willing to overlook things than some college kid.


    Hey look, I kind of agree that if this happened, it's probably over the top. But I point out that it wasn't CEOs who took over some planes and who are blowing up bombs and killing children today. It is, predominantly, young men, and in many cases, students at university. I think it might be very interesting to know more about the "student" who was questioned in the case cited.


AWA, you are correct re the bombers, however, the number of lives lost due to the conscious actions of the leaders of industry makes live lost to terrorism pale by comparison. This whole affair is another example of something done to do something. The pols can beat their chests and say they are doing something while doing nothing.
AWArulz
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#7 Posted on 20.12.05 0912.42
Reposted on: 20.12.12 0912.53
    Originally posted by DrDirt

    AWA, you are correct re the bombers, however, the number of lives lost due to the conscious actions of the leaders of industry makes live lost to terrorism pale by comparison.


Oh, Doc, set up your strawman in your own yard. [Sarcasm]The Big Bad Busness leaders are making big bad money and the guy putting screw A in slot B lost his fingers because of unsafe working conditions. (No mention that he was hungover, had a couple hours sleep and was thinking of Britney Spears pictures he had downloaded from some thread on The-W the night before). Of course, Bill Gates and all those other bad men should be treated the same as the 19 guys who bombed us and people who have similar charcteristics to them. I totally agree with you. [/sarcasm]

This one's a bit uncharacteristic of you.

Edit: (if you use > and < signs on fake HTML tags, the fake tags are invisible. Neato!)

(edited by AWArulz on 20.12.05 1014)
DrDirt
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#8 Posted on 20.12.05 1030.38
Reposted on: 20.12.12 1031.01
    Originally posted by AWArulz
      Originally posted by DrDirt

      AWA, you are correct re the bombers, however, the number of lives lost due to the conscious actions of the leaders of industry makes live lost to terrorism pale by comparison.


    Oh, Doc, set up your strawman in your own yard. [Sarcasm]The Big Bad Busness leaders are making big bad money and the guy putting screw A in slot B lost his fingers because of unsafe working conditions. (No mention that he was hungover, had a couple hours sleep and was thinking of Britney Spears pictures he had downloaded from some thread on The-W the night before). Of course, Bill Gates and all those other bad men should be treated the same as the 19 guys who bombed us and people who have similar charcteristics to them. I totally agree with you. [/sarcasm]

    This one's a bit uncharacteristic of you.

    Edit: (if you use > and < signs on fake HTML tags, the fake tags are invisible. Neato!)

    (edited by AWArulz on 20.12.05 1014)


Feeling feisty today I see. What I am talking about isn't the downtrodden working man. A couple of examples. Bhopal India chemical plant accident. Making an overt decision not to put a $1 piece in a Ford Pinto that would keep the gas tank from exploding since your bean counters determined it would be cheaper to deal with the lawsuits. And the list goes on.

Or how about the Enrons of the world and the lives destroyed by what they did. Maybe some of these .guys should be reading books on ethics and morality instead of economics.

I am all in favor of anyone or any entity making as much money legally and morally as they can. However over the last 35 years the movie Wall Street has gone from fiction to reality.

You can make alot of money while being ethical, it may just take longer.
ekedolphin
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#9 Posted on 23.12.05 0046.51
Reposted on: 23.12.12 0047.08
This really is straight out of 1984, I think. If we have a couple of Homeland Security agents beating down a student's door for checking out a library book he was using for a school project, it really brings up the question of "What else are they monitoring that we don't know about?" I believe in a certain fundamental right of privacy, but obviously the federal government disagrees with me.

It also concerns me that as a result of this, the professor has decided he probably won't teach a class about terrorism next year, because he doesn't want to put his students at risk. There's a huge difference between monitoring an al-Qaeda website to seek information about how they operate and how we can stop them, and monitoring an al-Qaeda website because you want to join the jihad.

And if the government tries to suppress knowledge like that, then we really are living in a dystopia, even though it's not quite as extreme yet as the worlds of 1984 and Brave New World.

Am I overstating the case? Maybe a little bit. But between this, and Bush's insisting that he doesn't have to follow judicial oversight, it seems to me he's been using the war on terror to grab more power for the executive branch, and that's exactly what the Consitution, with its system of checks and balances, was created to avoid.
bash91
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#10 Posted on 23.12.05 2158.50
Reposted on: 23.12.12 2159.01
Well, everyone can relax as it now appears that the whole thing was a hoax (ala.org). Not surprisingly, the story isn't checking out and seems, reading between the lines, to have been the product of someone's overactive imagination. If nothing else, we can deduce that his time in the library wasn't being spent reading whodunits as research for his grand conspiracy theory. Oh well, maybe the next liar will spin a better story that'll hold up a little longer.

Tim
ekedolphin
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#11 Posted on 24.12.05 0007.16
Reposted on: 24.12.12 0007.38
Or maybe that's what "they" want you to think.


(deleted by Guru Zim on 28.12.05 0938)

(resurrected by Guru Zim on 28.12.05 0939)
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