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Mar 6, 2002 5:46 AM
Real American's racist/sexist post below is pretty sad - what's worse is that RA is a regular here and clearly post under another name - except when RA wants to enlighten us with caveman ideology (yes I know RA will just have to look that one up)

RA you're well over the line on this one

it seems Gregg should block access to this poster (and his regular identity)
Mar 6, 2002 7:09 AM
He starts out his post calling himself educated but can't even put a gramatically correct sentence together. That should tell you something. Ignore flakes - especially the ignorant, hateful ones.
Mar 6, 2002 7:28 AM
you're right we should ignore trollsters - but you gotta agree he's crossed the line from being just a troll with his post below
Useful to be reminded those people are out there, thoughcory
Mar 6, 2002 8:35 AM
When I read the post, I thought the same thing: They ought to ban this moron. And I don't have any real problems with that. But there's some danger in it, too: As long as he's posting, we can't forget that people like that exist. When he's silenced, it's easy to get complacent and assume things are fine.
Mar 6, 2002 9:15 AM
what pisses me off is that it's a regular - who normally hides his (or her) true colours
How do you knowPaulCL
Mar 6, 2002 11:57 AM
that he/she is a regular? I hope he/she isn't for obvious reasons. Are you sure this person isn't posting just to get a reaction. I'd like to believe that people like that a truly few and far between.
About that "few and far between" wish...cory
Mar 6, 2002 12:28 PM
I'm sort of the token liberal newspaper columnist in a fairly conservative town--not VERY liberal, just left of moderate--and I can attest that people like that are common enough to be scary. You wouldn't believe the hateful, violent racist/genderist/whateverist mail I've gotten over the last 20 years, and how little provocation it takes to start it flowing.
That's one reason I support absolute freedom of expression in forums like this: Even after all this time, even after hundreds of examples, I'm still surprised at the depth of hatred half-buried out there. If people don't see it for themselves, they have to hear about it from me, and nobody believes me because I'm a liberal....
I get reminded by listening to talk radiojtolleson
Mar 6, 2002 6:08 PM
in the car on the way to the office. I have a love/hate relationship with the drivel, kinda like watching a NASCAR crash.

It reminds me enough of the scary meanspirited bigots in the world. I'd like to have a little sanctuary from them here!
I get reminded by listening to talk radioBikeViking
Mar 7, 2002 7:44 AM
I would be interested in knowing who the scary meanspirited bigots are on talk radio.

I will admit Mike Savage is on the extreme. If he would just get his point across without sounding like a petulant 14 year old, he would be taken more seriously in circles other than the "angry white male" arena.
I get reminded by listening to talk radiojtolleson
Mar 7, 2002 1:56 PM
Here, we don't have any horrific hosts (though we do have the syndicated "Dr." Laura... who has her moments). The real horrid stuff comes from callers. Scary to think that some of them must be my neighbors...
I get reminded by listening to talk radioBikeViking
Mar 8, 2002 5:15 AM
Yeah, she does abuse her callers, but some of them do deserve it. People call knowing what they are in for, so I have no sympathy for them.
Mar 6, 2002 11:26 AM
So what exactly was it that "Real American" posted? Maybe it's just me, but I can't find a thing out there attributed to this "person". Was it actually deleted from the message board?
Mar 6, 2002 1:40 PM
Yep. Looks like it's been deleted. Pretty unusual for this forum.
Was a reply to Hartlett on "Thoughts on Hate Crimes". nmBrooks
Mar 6, 2002 4:01 PM
Mar 7, 2002 6:37 AM
I didn't have the "privilege" of reading anything that this RA wrote, but I tend to believe the light of exposure, not censorship is the best way for all to learn about hate and evil that stills pervades our country.
Mar 7, 2002 6:51 AM
er, if you'd read what he wrote you would agree it was over the line - I won't participate in a forum where posters use racial/homophobic/sexist slurs - and I think most people would agree it's not what they want to be subjected to

it's the lowest common denominator - pure hatred and simply not acceptable - just like it's not acceptable to let people post porn here

anyways - I'm not in your country and wherever I am I don't need to be reminded about anybody's hate and evil thank you very much - particularly from a poster who calls himself 'Real American'

if you want the lowest common denominator exposure, free speech and all it entails you should tune in to Jerry Springer

you want to talk about free speech - read this and then we'll talk,7792,662807,00.html

For their eyes only

The democratic principle of open government is under pressure from a US administration obsessed with secrecy and media manipulation, writes Julian Borger

Wednesday March 6, 2002

The United States possesses an extraordinary institution which sets it apart from almost every other nation on Earth and helps define America as an open democracy. It is called the 1966 Freedom of Information Act, and it is in serious trouble.
For journalists and ordinary citizens alike, Foia (pronounced "foyer") is the daily embodiment of government of, by and for the people. In theory at least it works like this: you fill in a Foia request form and ask for any piece of information you want from any government agency, and that agency is obliged - barring clear national security considerations - to open its files.

In practice, the time this process takes has always depended on who you are. The New York Times tends to get better service out of the system than Joe Public, but the principle of universal access to information has by and large been upheld. That is beginning to change under the present administration, which is emerging as the most obsessive about government secrecy since Watergate.

Government officials are under instructions from the attorney general's office to drag their heels on Foia requests whenever it is legal to do so. Furthermore, the White House issued an executive order in November restricting access to the documentary records of past presidencies, while the Pentagon is experimenting with infotainment in place of information.

In part, the emphasis on government secrecy is an inevitable consequence of September 11. The terrorist attacks demonstrated that the nation was vulnerable to attack on many fronts not previously thought of as having anything to do with national security. Information about city water supplies or public health contingency plans has been stripped from open websites, for example.

However, the information clampdown has a history which predates the war on terror. The official papers from the Texas governor's mansion under George Bush's stewardship might have revealed much about the influence of big business on the way he ran the state. But instead of sending them to the Texas archives, where they would have been subject to the state's own Public Information Act, he had them shipped to his father's presidential library, where they will be considerably harder to get at.

The key document that is currently strangling Foia is a memorandum from John Ashcroft, the attorney general, explicitly urging government employees to be stingy with their treatment of information requests. It was issued back in October and was being drafted before September 11. The memo tells civil servants that "when you carefully consider Foia requests and decide to withhold records . . . you can be assured that the department of justice will defend your decisions."

The chill induced by Ashcroft's note is only now making itself felt. The energy department delayed the release of documents concerning the corporate role in drawing up the administration's energy policy for months, until a court judgment published last week rebuked it for its "glacial pace" and ordered it to hand the papers over. In an unambiguous ruling judge Gladys Kessler, of the US district court in Washington said: "The government can offer no legal or practical excuse for its excessive delay."

The ruling represented a significant victory for government transparency, but the administration is standing firm on other fronts. The vice-president, Dick Cheney, has vowed not to hand over the papers from the deliberations of his energy task force last year and is being taken to court by Congress's auditing arm, the general accounting office.

Meanwhile the health and human services department has sat on a two year study into the effects of fallout from Cold War nuclear testing, which estimated that it caused the deaths of 15,000 Americans.

The study, ordered by Congress in 1998 sat on the department's shelves for months, while officials insisted that it was a work in progress, until a democratic senator, Tom Harkin, pressured the administration into issuing a "progress report". The health department insists it dispatched that report in September, but it only arrived in the senator's office - less than a mile away - in February.

Confidentiality imposed for reasons of national security is also showing signs of "spillage", corroding formally entrenched civil rights. Examples of this include the secrecy surrounding the large-scale detention of illegal immigrants, and the refusal to allow detainees in Guantanamo Bay have access to legal advice.

Meanwhile, the Pentagon has severely rationed the flow of information about the war in Afghanistan, appropriately enough in a campaign so reliant on special forces operations and covert action. But the defence department too has gone far beyond the requirements of national security in its zeal for news management. Television cameras have been barred from "negative" incidents, like the evacuation of friendly fire casualties, while film crews have been encouraged to concentrate on soft lifestyle features about US soldiers.

The apotheosis of this policy was the aborted creation of an office of strategic influence (OSI), designed to feed ready-made stories - both true and otherwise - to the world's media. In a sign that investigative journalism is going to be a hard beast to defeat, the New York Times revealed the OSI's intentions last month forcing its hasty closure, amid half-hearted denials from the defence secretary, Donald Rumsfeld.

But Rumsfeld has not given up making the news in his desired image. The Pentagon has bypassed the ABC News, and done a deal with the television network's entertainment division to produce a reality series about the lives of the troops in Afghanistan. It will be co-produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, who cooperated closely with the Pentagon to make Black Hawk Down, and Bertram Van Munster, who produces a regular television show called Cops offering a sympathetic fly-on-the-wall portrait of the police.

Like Cops, the Afghan show is likely to be compulsive viewing, but it's unlikely to tell Americans very much about what is being done in Afghanistan in their name. That, of course, may be the whole point.

· This article will also appear in Guardian Weekly
Mar 7, 2002 7:18 AM
First and foremost, I don't agree with ANY of the slurs that RA may have posted. It is unacceptable speech, but I prefer knowing these knuckleheads exist. But with this site or any other medium, the owner of that medium has a right to police it as they see fit. That's why those ignorant *****phobes can make their own stupid web sites to post their own stupid ideas, so people can see how stupid they are. However, freedom of speech is an important thing, but the danger in ANY censoring is when someone may find your own speech offensive. What to do then?

For example, there may be people may find my comment that Jesse Jackson is finally getting his due in the new book "Shakedown", offensive, racist and may want me censored.

My point is that EVERYONE can take offense at something. There are limitations to free speech, but our First Amendment is pretty clear on protecting that right. Freedom from offense was not addressed by the Founders.

There is a thin line between prtecting governmental information and secrecy. From the article, I would say that a lot more of the sequestered information should be released and the courts usually make the agency give up the information. It's just a pain in the butt to get it when you want it. FOIA is is a great tool, but bureaucrats do use "national security" or other reasons to keep information from us.

BTW, are you from the UK? (I am guessing because of the Guardian links)

Mar 7, 2002 7:27 AM
I wouldn't expect that many people do agree with RA or the other posts Len J id'd and certainly wasn't pointing fingers

I live in London

I disagree too with censorship in the political sense (with obvious exceptions) - but think this site should be policed (and censored where necessary) by the owner to keep the kind of forum that people will keep coming to

can you imagine what someone's response would be if they logged on to day for the first time?

founding fathers owned slaves too - they didn't get everything right

I think generally there's a reasonable test for censorship and RA passed (or failed?) it...
Mar 7, 2002 8:00 AM
I agree wholeheartedly...the owner has every right to maintain this site as he/she sees fit. This does include "taking out the trash" from time to time.

A a first-time poster, I would have seen how QUICKLY everyone jumped on this and seen it is a site of respected people with a love for two-wheeled conveyance. The "community" reared up when a dope started posting his trash here. It makes us look better, in my opinion.

Slave ownership does not tarnish the legacy they left for us. It's always easy to criticize with the benefit of hindsight and I think it was Jefferson who had reservations about the whole slavery issue

As an aside, the latest historical research shows he did NOT father any children with slaves.

Besides we HAD to escape from the tyranny of the Crown!!! :o)

Mar 7, 2002 7:10 AM
look at Len J's post and then we can talk free speech
Mar 7, 2002 7:37 AM
took me a minute...lost my password and had to create a new account.

I saw it and, although it's offensive, it's not illegal.

Gregg will now exercise HIS rights of ownership and law the smack down on those morons.
Mar 7, 2002 7:42 AM
that language is inciting hatred (and violence) and is therefore deemed (potentially) illegal in the UK

...the web goes everywhere...
Mar 7, 2002 7:48 AM
Depending on the specific language, it's illegal here as well.

I always approach banning speech very cautiously.

Now I am interested in what EXACTLY RA posted. The other spam, Bible quotes against homosexuality, does not constitute hatred and violence, while the website referral posts, probably were. (can't check those sites, I am at work!) LoL
Mar 7, 2002 7:54 AM
the sites are definitely not something you want to linger on at work - I hit it to see if it was serious - some real bile there

yesterday's gems were more in that vein - language more appropriate for a skinhead/KKK rally
Mar 7, 2002 8:03 AM
Being in the military, you get to see morons and geniuses of of all colors and genders. You don't think poorly or highly of them because of their "group", it is because of their work as a PERSON.

If only more people knew that...
Questions and thoughts on free speechKristin
Mar 7, 2002 10:03 AM
By banning a poster on RBR, is free speech in America being limited?

Just because our nation holds free speech in high regard; does that mean that anyone, anywhere can say whatever they want?

I believe that freedom of speech was intended to protect the American people from unsafe and over-bearing government that could become dangerous to the people it rules over. I do not believe that freedom of speech was ever intened to give free reign to unbridled tongues.

I attend church services with some 4,000+ people. If I jumped up in the middle of the message and began to proclaim some of Real American's idea's, would that be acceptable? Never! I would be arrested and charged with some crime, probably desturbing the peace, and would be convicted. Because, while my opinions can't be censored, my timing can. If you were at your childs wedding, and Real American walked-in, stood on a pew and began spouting his rhetoric, would you rise up and defend his right to be there? There is a time and a place for everything. Perhaps this board...a privately owned not the place. Ultimately, ConsumerReview has the right to make that call. The law allows property owners to limit what is said and done on their premisis. The internet, being virtual property seems to fall into the grey in our minds sometimes. But everything that is posted here belongs to them and they can censor it.
Simple solution to all of thispeloton
Mar 7, 2002 7:29 PM
I don't know why everyone has to give the individuals who come here to make idiotic comments the time of day. IGNORE THESE PEOPLE. We are all to blame for their continued 'contributions' if we give them the rise they are looking for. Be selective with your posts, and don't give the trolls what they are looking for, and they will go away. Everyone knows that they are foolish when they post stupid drivel. We don't need to re-post to point that out.

I'm amazed when I come into this forum and the general board lately. Lots of dumb posts. Racing and components stay pretty civil usually. Anyone else notice that a lot of posters who usually are pretty insightful stay away when this kind of trash surfaces?

Anyway, I'm off my soapbox now. And I'm ignoring idiots everywhere.