Tuesday, April 10, 2007

these times

thanks to Lucas for this



"I confess to having been furious that any American
citizen would be singled out for governmental
harassment because he or she criticized any elected
official, Democrat or Republican. That harassment is,
in and of itself, a flagrant violation not only of the
First Amendment but also of our entire scheme of
constitutional government. This effort to punish a
critic states my lecture's argument far more
eloquently and forcefully than I ever could."

1 comment:

sm said...

Maisanta redux

Looks like G.B and friends are taking a lesson straight form Hugo Chavez. This ran on NPR yesterday -

“Political patronage has always been part of the landscape here in Venezuela But Riordan Roett with Johns Hopkins University says Chavez has turned ideological discrimination into a science. It really has become a monstrous mechanism for placing fear in the hearts of many Venezuelans.

Three and a half million people signed a petition against Chavez in 2003.
These people have now been identified as enemies of the state. Many people have lost their job, others cannot be hired. It's also generated outward migration. People have begun to leave, and in relatively large numbers.
Roett says the government is accused of using the list to screen applicants for social programs, scholarships, even credit from state banks.

And so it really has become a blacklist, almost in the way you had lists in totalitarian Europe in the 1930s.

The difference is this list takes advantage of 21st century technology. A simple computer program, searchable by name or ID number, contains the political preferences of 14 million Venezuelans. It's called the Maisanta program, after Chavez's great grandfather.”